Tesla stock roars back after Elon's SEC deal

Elon Musk to Resign as Chair of Tesla Board but Remain CEO

He and Tesla will pay $20 million each, and the company will have to find an independent chairman to replace Musk, who will stay on as CEO. Tesla is due to appoint two new independent directors, with the board expected to oversee Musk's communications with investors.

USA securities regulators settled a lawsuit against Musk alleging that he made false and misleading statements about plans to take the company private in August. A more assertive board could provide the kind of tighter oversight that many legal experts, and Tesla investors, say is overdue for a company of Tesla's market value.

It alleged that Musk's statements - including the assertion that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private - "were premised on a long series of baseless assumptions and were contrary to facts that Musk knew".

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The charges come after Musk claimed in August via a series of tweets that he was planning to take the electric vehicle maker private, and implied that such a move was imminent with "funding secured".

Tesla saw its stock price plunging after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk over his now infamous "funding secured" tweet.

It ends a case that began in August, shortly after the publications made by Elon Musk and that ended up not having any progress, and the company maintained its position in the stock market.

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Stephanie Avakian and Steve Peikin, co-directors of the SEC's Enforcement Division, led the talks, taking the reins from the staff attorneys who worked the case, according two people familiar with the matter. On Friday, its stock dropped nearly 14 per cent.

Tesla's shares plummeted around 14 percent on Friday over concerns about the company's future after the announcement of the fraud charges against Musk, which were a fresh blow to the mercurial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and his company. The SEC said the company had no way to determine if his tweets contained information that must be disclosed in corporate filings, or if they contained complete and accurate information.

He arrived at the $420 a share figure by assuming a 20 percent premium on Tesla shares and rounding up one dollar because "he had recently learned about the number's significance in marijuana culture", and to impress his girlfriend, according to the SEC's complaint. Shareholders are betting the company is on the cusp of turning a profit thanks to its lower-priced Model 3 sedan.

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