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Tesla forms three-member panel to look at any Musk deal

Tesla forms three-member panel to look at any Musk deal
FILE PHOTO: A Tesla sales and service center is shown in Costa Mesa, California, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake   -   Copyright  Mike Blake(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s board <TSLA.O> named a special committee of three directors on Tuesday which will evaluate Elon Musk’s proposals to take the company private, although it said it was yet to see a firm offer from the company’s chief executive.

Musk said on Monday he was in talks with a Saudi sovereign fund for taking the electric car maker private. He later tweeted he was working with buyout firm Silver Lake and investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> as financial advisers on his plan.

The special committee is composed of independent directors Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice.

Buss served as chief financial officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years before retiring in 2016. Tesla bought SolarCity that year. Denholm, the first woman to join Tesla’s board, is chief operations officer of telecom firm Telstra and the ex-CFO of network gear maker Juniper Networks <JNPR.N>. Rice, the first African-American and second woman to join the company’s board, is the chairman of Johnson Publishing Co, home to Ebony and Jet magazines.

The special committee has the authority to take any action on behalf of the board to evaluate and negotiate a potential transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Musk, the company said in the statement.

Latham and Watkins LLP has been retained by the committee as its legal counsel. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati will be legal counsel for Tesla itself.

Shares in Tesla, which are still well below highs hit when Musk initially raised the prospect of the transaction last week, inched up 0.7 percent in trading before the bell.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru)

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