Elon Musk told a federal court in San Francisco on Monday that he could have sold SpaceX shares to take Tesla private in 2018. He was and continues to be the CEO and largest shareholder of both companies.
Tesla shareholders are suing Musk for a series of tweets he sent in August 2018 claiming he had “funding secured” to take the automaker private for $420 per share and that “investor support” for such a deal had been “confirmed.” Tesla stock was halted following his tweets, and its share price remained volatile for weeks.
The shareholders in the certified class action lawsuit claim that Musk’s tweets were reckless and false, and that relying on them to make investment decisions cost them a significant amount of money.
Musk later claimed he had verbal promises from a Saudi sovereign wealth fund, believing it would be funded at the proposed price on a handshake basis. However, the deal never materialized.
On his second day on the stand, Musk said he had “secured funding” for the deal in 2018. claimed it was because he was able to sell his SpaceX stake. transaction.
Musk said under oath that “SpaceX’s stock alone represents ‘secured’ funding.” I don’t want to sell his SpaceX shares, but I could. I sold my Tesla shares to complete the Twitter deal. And I would have done it here as well.
Musk declined to say how many shares of the reusable rocket maker, who or how much he could have used to fund the Tesla acquisition.
In April 2018, SpaceX announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had raised approximately $214 million in a funding round that had sought to raise more than $500 million in equity funding.
Nicholas L. Porritt, Levi & Korsinsky’s shareholder attorney, asked Musk if his proposed price for Tesla stock was a joke since the 420 is a reference to cannabis in pop culture.
Musk claimed this was a coincidence. “I think there’s karma around 420. At that point, you should think about whether it’s good karma or bad karma,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Musk has filed a lawsuit over his own tweets. The SEC indicted his Musk and Tesla for civil securities fraud shortly after his dispatch and paid $20 million in fines to federal agencies. They later signed an amended consent decree requiring Musk to temporarily step down from his role as CEO of Tesla and have any tweets containing important business information about Tesla reviewed by securities lawyers before being posted. Did.
Musk recently took over as CEO of social media company Twitter after he oversaw its $44 billion leveraged acquisition of the company in October 2022. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz is the social media company’s second-largest shareholder after Musk. Last November, Senator Chris Murphy (D.-Conn) sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States asking for a review of the financing of the Musk-Twitter deal.