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Tesla raises US$1.46b in stock sale: IFR

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Tesla Motors Inc has raised US$1.46 billion in fresh capital from the sale of its 6.8 million new common stock offering, according to IFR.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Tesla Motors Inc has raised US$1.46 billion in fresh capital from the sale of its 6.8 million new common stock offering, according to IFR.

Tesla seeks to finance a plan to expand production of its electric vehicles to 500,000 a year by 2018.

The shares were priced at US$215 by lead managers Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, IFR said.

The pricing is lower than its previous sale price of US$242 in August 2015 and below a year high of US$286.65 hit in July 2015.

The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker said on Wednesday it planned to sell up to US$1.7 billion in new shares to fund its operations, and said chief executive Elon Musk would sell 2.8 million of his own shares, mainly to pay taxes related to exercising vested stock options.

Tesla's stock ended up 1.9 per cent at US$215.21 on Thursday, despite the announced plan to sell more stock at a price below previous share sale levels.

Tesla shares are down 10.3 per cent this year.

The proceeds from the latest stock offering will be used mainly to pay for US$2.25 billion in capital investments Mr Musk has said will be needed this year to prepare for high volume production of the Model 3.

As of March 31, Tesla had US$1.44 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

The company reported a net loss of US$282.3 million for the first quarter, and said in its prospectus it must "deliver significant cost reductions" to avoid future losses.

Tesla previously has raised more than US$4.5 billion in debt and equity offerings over the past six years.

Since it raised US$226 million in an initial public offering in June 2010, Tesla has gone back to the capital markets several times.

Tesla said it has 373,000 reservations from customers who want the Model 3 sedan, which will be a smaller, less expensive companion to the current Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle.

REUTERS