Tesla will raise at least $1.4 billion through a secondary stock offering, the company announced in SEC filings today, and an additional 5.5 million shares will be purchased by CEO Elon Musk via a stock option exercise. The funds will be used to "accelerate the production ramp of Model 3," according to the filing, with Tesla moving its 500,000 vehicle per year build plan to 2018 from 2020.
Musk will exercise all his outstanding stock options for a total of 5,503,972 shares, with 2,777,901 of those being offered for sale to cover his tax burden. Tesla will not receive any of the proceeds from that sale, and Musk's net holdings in Tesla will increase.
The Tesla Model 3 was unveiled in March and is the first "affordable" Tesla car, priced at around $35,000. Tesla says it will go more than 215 miles on a full charge and the success of the Model 3 will determine the future of the company. The first deliveries of the car are expected in late 2017, with volume production beginning in 2018.
Initial demand for the car appears to be very strong, with the company reporting that it had taken roughly 400,000 preorders with refundable $1,000 deposits as of late April. In the filing Tesla revealed that as of May 15th, it currently had 373,000 preorders after 8,000 customer cancellations and 4,200 duplicate orders were cancelled by the company.
Tesla is no stranger to secondary offerings. It raised around $500 million in a smaller offering last year.