Elon Musk asserts that he received 'unequivocal' support for taking Tesla private

Elon Musk court illustration

Elon Musk testified in court that at the time of his contentious tweet, he thought he had the support necessary to take Tesla private.

The CEO of the electric vehicle manufacturer is facing charges after investors claimed the 2018 tweet cost them millions of dollars when a deal fell through.

A Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, according to Mr. Musk, told him during their meeting that they would support a deal.

He added that he would have raised money by selling his shares in the rocket company SpaceX.

In a tweet posted on August 7, 2018, Mr. Musk claimed that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share and that "investor support is confirmed." He has since been charged with fraud against investors.

The tweet caused a significant backlash against the billionaire and sent Tesla shares soaring, but they later fell back after Elon Musk announced the plan was scrapped a few weeks later.

The US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, made him resign from his position as chairman of Tesla, and he was required to have any tweets about Tesla approved by a separate panel.

As part of the settlement of the SEC's allegations that he had committed securities fraud, he and Tesla were also each fined $20 million.

On Monday, Mr. Musk testified in court in San Francisco that he had met on July 31, 2018, with representatives of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

A price for taking Tesla private, he claimed, was not discussed, but the fund representatives made it clear they supported a deal.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the fund, allegedly appeared to back out of the commitment after that, according to Mr. Musk.

"I was very upset because he had been unambiguous in his support for taking Tesla private when we met and now he appeared to be backpedaling," he said.

Additionally, Mr. Musk was questioned about how he arrived at the price of $420 per share and whether it was a pun on marijuana.

In accordance with a 2018 SEC filing. , . Mr. Musk had added a 20% premium to the share price of Tesla on that particular day in order to arrive at the price. The price came to $419 as a result of that calculation.

But according to the SEC's legal documents: "He rounded the price up to $420 because he had just learned about the number's significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend "would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price," which is true, but not a very good one. " .

Elon Musk

Numerous people come together to celebrate marijuana on April 20 in American counterculture. When writing dates in the US, the month's number comes first, followed by the day, in this case, April 20.

Mr. Musk stated in court that the number 420 was not chosen as a joke but rather because there was a 20% premium over the stock price.

There was "some karma around 420," he continued, though "I should question whether that is good karma or bad karma at this point."

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