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Electric car maker Tesla boosts size of IPO

June 28, 2010 | 10:22 am

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. has increased the number of shares it plans to sell in its initial public offering, which is expected to price later Monday.

In an amended prospectus for the deal, the Palo Alto, Calif., company said it raised the size of the IPO to 13.3 million shares, up from a previously planned 11.1 million shares.

The 20% boost suggests the company’s brokerage underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs, are seeing strong interest in the offering from investors.

Tesla kept the expected price range of the shares at $14 to $16 each.

Tesla The company plans to sell 11.9 million shares, raising as much as $190 million (before fees) if the deal prices at the top of the range. Current shareholders, including Chief Executive Elon Musk (who made a fortune as a co-founder of PayPal Inc.), plan to sell 1.42 million shares.

The IPO could be expanded by 2 million shares if demand is heavy enough, the company said. The additional shares would come from current holders.

The stock will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol TSLA.

Founded by Musk in 2003, Tesla has yet to turn a profit. The company introduced its first electric car, the $109,000 Roadster, in 2008. It has sold only about 1,100 of the cars worldwide.

The IPO proceeds will fund production of the company’s new vehicle, the Model S sedan, which is expected to sell for about $57,000. A federal tax credit of $7,500 for electric cars would cut the price to just under $50,000. The commercial launch is planned for 2012.

Tesla says the Model S would accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, making it among the quickest four-door sedans on the road. It is expected to get 160 to 300 miles on a single charge, depending on the version.

-- Tom Petruno