SEC has reportedly served Tesla with a subpoena after Elon Musk's take-private tweet

  • A subpoena would be one of the first steps in a formal inquiry.
  • Shares of Tesla were down 3 percent in afternoon trading.
  • Musk publicly floated the possibility of taking the company private in a tweet that sent shares fluctuating and company leadership scrambling.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has served Tesla with a subpoena after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was considering taking the company private and that he had the necessary funding lined up, according to reports from The New York Times and other outlets published Wednesday.

Earlier reports said the SEChad intensified scrutiny of the automaker after the controversial tweet. A subpoena would be one of the first steps in a formal inquiry.

Shares of Tesla were down 3 percent in afternoon trading, though they moved only a fraction of 1 percent following the Times article.

Representatives of Tesla and the SEC declined to comment to the Times.

Musk publicly floated the possibility of taking the company private in a tweet that sent shares seesawing and company leadership scrambling. His statement that he had the "funding secured" came under particular scrutiny, as it may have violated an SEC rule that essentially stipulates public statements made by company executives must be true.

Musk explained earlier this week that the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund had expressed interest in taking Tesla private. The Saudi fund declined to comment to CNBC.

Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino also reported the SEC subpoena on Wednesday, a few hours ahead of the Times and Journal reports, adding to Tesla's losses for the day.

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