Its cash reserves dwindling, Tesla announced plans Thursday to raise $2 billion through the sale of additional shares of stock and debt.
CEO Elon Musk had insisted through much of the last year that the company was doing fine and would not need to raise additional cash. But a depressed stock price forced it to pay off a $920 million bond in March with cash rather than stock.
That payment was a big factor in the company’s cash reserves falling by $1.5 billion during the quarter, leaving it with just over $2 billion in cash on its balance sheet. It also reported a $702 million loss in the quarter.
After reporting results last week, Musk told investors that “at this point, I do think there … is some merit to raising capital.” The timing and the extent of that raise was not disclosed at that time.
Tesla plans to sell about $650 million in stock and $1.35 billion in debt which could be converted to stock at some point in the future. The company’s underwriters also have the option to purchase up to an additional 15% of each offering.
Tesla intends to use proceeds from the offerings to strengthen its balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes.
Musk himself intends to buy $10 million of the shares once they are offered.
Tesla shares jumped 4% in premarket trading following the filings. Although the additional shares will dilute the value of current Tesla shares, investors had been prepared for the capital raise since last week. Some may have been preparing for an even larger sale of shares. There had also been concerns that the company could find itself in a cash crunch without a cash raise.
“We view this as a clear net positive for Tesla,” said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, in a note to clients Thursday. “The company needed to take its medicine and clear the air of the very real investor worries that the company would not having enough capital to meet its debt obligation this November and future [capital spending] needs.”