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Tesla offers more shares in flotation

City A.M. Reporter
ELECTRIC carmaker Tesla Motors has raised the number of shares it will sell in its initial public offering by 20 per cent, an early sign that investor interest in the start-up is strong.

The increase yesterday, a day before shares are expected to begin trading, brings the number of shares being offered to 13.3m from 11.1m, it said in a regulatory filing.

Tesla maintained the price range of the shares between $14 (£9.30) and $16. Based on the midpoint of $15 a share, the IPO could raise about $200m (£132m).

The stock is set to trade on the Nasdaq exchange today under the symbol “TSLA”.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is selling the IPO as a technology play rather than a carmaker stock.

“We are a Silicon Valley company. Closer to an Apple or Google than to a GM or Ford in the way we operate the company,” he said in a meeting with potential investors last week.

The California-based company’s public debut comes amid growing interest in green technology, and as major automakers are gearing up to launch electric cars.

Tesla would be the first US car company to go public since Ford Motor made its debut in 1956.

The company has yet to make a profit, and does not expect to make money until its Model S car starts selling in significant volume.

Tesla’s losses widened to $29.5m (£19.5m) for last quarter.

Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of motoring website Edmunds.com, said: “The deck is stacked against them. They are not Google. They are in manufacturing.”