Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to brush off suggestions of an upcoming IPO for SpaceX, claiming that the firm will not list until “the very long term” when it is busing people to Mars “regularly”.
Usually, a statement from a CEO that compares a public offering to colonising Mars would be as clear as denial as is possible. But, in the case of Musk, his business — or, at least, this particular business of his — is space exploration; so you can take that as a sign that there’ll be no IPO for a while, or that we’ll be colonizing Mars in the not too distant future.
No near term plans to IPO @spacex. Only possible in very long term when Mars Colonial Transporter is flying regularly.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2013
Earlier this week, CNN suggested that now is the time for Musk to “capitalize on this moment and take yet another one of his ventures public”. The publication suggested that the buzz around SpaceX, coupled with the success of listed companies SolarCity (where Musk is chairman and shares have tripled in value in 2013) and Tesla, give it a platform for success on Wall Street.
Musk’s candour comes amid prior speculation about a SpaceX IPO. Last year, he told Business Week that the firm could list in 2013 — a fact that sources close to the company backed up — but his latest statement supersedes past rumors or expectations, and suggests the company is strictly focused on business for now.
SpaceX claims to have been cash positive for six years. The company has customer contracts worth an estimated $4 billion which extend into 2017, including satellite launches and delivering cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
Musk has previously spoken about colonizing Mars in very bullish terms, explaining his belief that moving a family to the red planet should cost $500,000 by 2029.
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