Tesla is First U.S. Automotive Company to Go Public in More than 50 Years

Seeks to raise $244 million

Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto, California-based electric automaker, which is to be listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol "TSLA," revised the terms for its initial public offering in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 28.

Tesla said it plans to offer 13.3 million shares, up from 11.1 million previously, priced at up to $16. Additional shares could see Tesla raise as much as $244.7 million.

Toyota has already agreed to take a $50 million stake in Tesla, purchasing 3.33 million shares in the company.

Daimler took a 10% stake in Tesla in May of last year and sold 40% of its stake in July to Aabar Investments group of the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, Tesla received a $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program to help it build the Model S.

According to the documents filed with the SEC, Tesla has generated total revenue of $147.6 million since it was founded and has accumulated a deficit of $290.2 million. The company said it had a net loss of $55.7 million last year.

Tesla is the first U.S. auto company to go public since Ford did so in 1956.

Founded in 2003 by South African Elon Musk, a co-founder of online payments giant PayPal and SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on its maiden voyage this month, Tesla specializes in environmentally friendly electric cars.

The Tesla Roadster, a high-performance sports car, costs more than $100,000 and can go nearly 250 miles on a single charge. In its SEC filing, Tesla said it had sold 1,063 Tesla Roadsters to customers in 22 countries as of March 31.

Tesla is also making a "Model S" five-passenger sedan powered by lithium-ion battery packs capable of between 160 and 300 miles per charge.

The Model S, expected in 2012, has an anticipated base price of around $50,000.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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