Tesla raises $226 million in IPO

tesla model s hi res 2 300x199 Tesla raises $226 million in IPO

In the first IPO by an American automaker since Ford’s first offering in 1956, electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors managed to sell 13.3 million shares at $17 per share.  The sale raised $226 million for the company, and led to an initial valuation of $1.33 billion.

The price-per-share wound up being higher than the $14 to $16 range Tesla initially thought they would get.  Tesla, chaired by PayPal and Zip2 founder Elon Musk, will use the cash for acquisitions and factory creation and maintenance.

Tesla currently sells the $109,000 battery-powered two-seat Roadster, and has begun taking pre-orders for the electric Model S sedan.  The Roadster was the subject of a recall last year due to problems with the “rear, inner hub flange bolts,” according to an archived press release from the firm.  Meanwhile, release of the Model S has also been delayed.

Nonetheless, a recent deal with Toyota resulted in Tesla’s acquisition of a factory in California, along with an investment of $50 million by the Japanese automaker.  This, combined with money from federal loans and the IPO, will be used to launch the Model S.  The sedan will be sold for $57,400, and is expected to be released in 2012.  If Tesla is able to ramp-up to full production, they will produce 20,000 units annually.

Tesla shares will begin trading on Nasdaq later today using the symbol TSLA.

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