Tesla's board of directors said Wednesday it will evaluate chief executive Elon Musk's proposal to take the electric car maker private

New York (AFP) - Tesla’s board of directors said Wednesday it will evaluate chief executive Elon Musk’s proposal to take the electric car maker private.

After Musk last week raised the idea as a better solution for Tesla’s long-term growth, directors met “several times” and are “taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this,” the board said in a brief statement issued before the stock market opened.

Musk jolted markets Tuesday by announcing the proposal on Twitter and saying he could finance the buyout at a large premium to current valuation, at a price of $420 a share.

Going private would liberate the company from the quarterly reporting cycle, making it “free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible,” Musk said in a blog post.

Musk, who has stirred controversy with his unorthodox management style and often confrontational approach to critics, said he viewed going private as “the best path forward,” but a final decision had not been made and ultimately rested on shareholder support.

Shares of Tesla were down 2.1 percent $371.60 in early trading Wednesday.

Trading in the company was suspended Tuesday for about 90 minutes after Musk’s surprise announcement. Shares finished the session 11 percent higher.

Many companies avoid releasing market-moving news during trading hours, but Musk floated the idea in an afternoon tweet and then elaborated in a series of responses to questions on the social network, before finally releasing a letter to employees with more details on the rationale.

He said current shareholders would be protected and allowed to continue to participate in the company’s growth.