Tesla Motors sets IPO terms, plans to raise $185 million with offering and Toyota investment

By Dan Strumpf, AP
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tesla Motors to raise $185M in IPO, Toyota deal

NEW YORK — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. expects to raise $185 million from its highly anticipated initial public offering of stock and an investment from Toyota Motors Corp.

The company, which makes the $109,000 all-electric Roadster sports car, plans to begin selling stock the week of June 28, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.

The Palo Alto, Calif. company currently sells just the Roadster, a high-end car powered by lithium-ion batteries with a design based on the Lotus Elise two-seater sports car. It has sold just 1,063 Roadsters since 2008 and has lost $290.2 million since the company was founded in 2003. Revenue has totaled $147.6 million.

However, the company plans to start selling a mass-market luxury sedan starting in 2012 that is expected to cost $49,900 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The company has said it expects continuing quarterly losses until the sedan, the Model S, hits the market. Tesla said it has already taken 2,200 reservations for the five-passenger sedan.

After the release of the Model S, Tesla plans to continue expanding its lineup of electric cars with increasingly cheaper models.

Tesla said in a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company and its stockholders plan to sell 11.1 million shares when it goes public. Shares will be priced between $14 and $16.

Toyota Motor Corp. will buy an additional $50 million in Tesla stock immediately after the close of Tesla’s public offering.

As part of the partnership with Toyota, Tesla will pay the Japanese automaker $42 million for a shuttered auto plant in Fremont, Calif. The plant, called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., is a former joint venture between Toyota and General Motors Co., but GM withdrew from the joint venture when it filed for bankruptcy protection last year, leaving Toyota saddled with the idled facility.

Tesla said it plans to use the sprawling, 207-acre facility — most recently used to build the Pontiac Vibe and the Toyota Corolla and Tacoma — to build the Model S. In addition, the two companies have loose plans to work together later on another electric car.

Tesla also has another source of funding: the U.S. government. In January, the company received approval for a $465 million loan from the Energy Department under a program established by Congress to foster development of electric vehicles. Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., among other automakers, have also received funding from the program.

Tesla said it has drawn down $45.4 million of its government loan as of Monday. The company has also received $31 million in tax incentives from the state of California.

AP Business Writer Tali Arbel contributed to this report.

June 29, 2010: 12:56 am

I agree Tesla is a good company but I have become agnostic of the stock market and have never put much faith in IPOs. A great company does not a profitable investment make.

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