Musk Said He Could Have Funded A Tesla Buyout With Spacex Shares

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Musk Said He Could Have Funded A Tesla Buyout With Spacex Shares

Elon Musk goes on trial for his ‘guaranteed money’ tweet. Find up to 8 quotes from his evidence.

Elon Musk Justifies ‘funding Secured’ Tweet During Tesla Trial

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Elon Musk was asked about the relationship between the tweets and Tesla’s stock price while testifying at the Tesla shareholder trial. Karina Johansen/Getty Images

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Elon Musk took a brief stand on Friday in a lawsuit that could cost him billions of dollars.

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The Tesla CEO testified about his tweets in a civil trial in San Francisco in August 2018. He claimed he planned to take his car company private with “guaranteed funding”.

Musk is expected to continue his testimony on Monday. The shareholders suing him plan to call other high-profile witnesses to the trial, including Tesla’s former chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja and Tesla’s head of investor relations, Martin Viecha.

Musk has previously been known for his penchant for adversarial testimony, from jokes to digs at other lawyers. a long process.

SAN FRANCISCO – Elon Musk told a jury on Monday that he is confident he has locked down financial backing from Saudi investors in 2018 to start electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. It could also go private and use its stake in rocket company SpaceX to finance its acquisition.

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At the trial in federal court in San Francisco, the billionaire, who said he was tired from lack of sleep, spoke quietly and calmly during about five hours of testimony.

“I felt that the financing was secured only by the shares of SpaceX,” he told the jury, referring to the aerospace company of which he is the CEO. He later said he decided not to take Tesla private because of a lack of support from some investors and a desire to avoid a lengthy process.

Musk defends allegations of defrauding investors, saying on Twitter on August 7, 2018 that he had “received funding” to take Tesla private equity at $420 per share and that “investor support was confirmed”.

The trial will test Musk’s willingness to express his ungodly views on Twitter and when he should be held accountable for crossing the line.

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Tesla’s stock price rose after Musk’s 2018 tweet, but fell as it became clear that a buyout would not happen. Investors say they lost millions of dollars as a result.

Musk told investor attorney Nicholas Porit that on July 31, 2018, he met with representatives of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California.

He acknowledged that no takeover price had been discussed, but hinted that Saudi representatives would do what they had to do to complete the takeover.

Musk said that never happened because the fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, later approved the pledge.

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“When we met, I was very upset because he clearly supported taking Tesla private and seemed hesitant,” Musk said.

Porit later said in court that Musk’s claims about the Saudis’ original intentions were not supported by written evidence, and the record showed the Saudis wanted to know more about what Musk had in mind.

Musk later said he would sell his stake in SpaceX to fund the going-private deal, just as he sold part of his Tesla stake last year to fund an attempt to take Twitter private.

SpaceX “is the backbone of the US space program and a very valuable company,” Musk acknowledged. He told the jury: “It’s important for the jury to know that only my SpaceX shares were funded. Very important.”

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A nine-member jury will decide whether and by how much Tesla’s CEO defied takeover expectations and artificially inflated the company’s stock price.

When Musk tweeted about the funding, he said, “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” and that it was his “opinion” that he got the funding.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Musk over his tweets, which resulted in him and Tesla paying a combined $40 million and requiring Tesla’s lawyers to review some of his tweets ahead of time. got the point.

The SEC alleges that Musk raised the purported purchase offer from $419 to $420 per share because he had recently learned of the higher amount “for the importance of marijuana culture” and thought it would be fun for his girlfriend.

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He began his testimony Friday by telling jurors that Twitter, which he acquired last October, was the most democratic way to communicate, but that his tweets did not always have the impact on Tesla stock as expected.

The defendants also include current and former Tesla executives who, according to Spiro, had “pure” motives in response to Musk’s plan.

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Investors filed the lawsuit shortly after Elon Musk posted on Twitter in August 2018 that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share. Photo: Alisong/Reuters

The shareholder trial against Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gotten off to a slow start, with prospective jurors describing the controversial tech billionaire as “dope,” “unpredictable,” “a bit of his own rocker” and a “genius.” ” and “another arrogant rich man”, the judge questioned his fairness.

But at the end of the day, nine jurors have been selected for the San Francisco trial, and it hinges on whether Musk defrauded investors out of billions by claiming in a 2018 tweet that he “identified” the funds. Accepted. a private electric vehicle company.

The lawsuit seeks damages from shareholders who bought and sold Tesla stock in the days following Musk’s Aug. 7, 2018, tweet. Shareholders did not specify damages but said Musk’s tweet cost investors billions.

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Musk’s tweets in 2018 sparked a rally in the company’s stock price, which ultimately ended abruptly a week later after it became clear that he didn’t have the cash for the acquisition. Investors then sued him, saying Tesla’s stock wouldn’t have been so widely valued if he hadn’t taken a risk and bought the company for $420 a share.

Musk’s tweet also came to the attention of securities regulators, who considered it inappropriate and false. As a settlement, they forced him to pay $40 million and demanded that he step down as chairman of Tesla.

Since then, Musk has sparked even more controversy when he bought Twitter and later overhauled the social media site’s posting rules, shuttered its headquarters and laid off many employees.

Musk’s lawyer argued that the way Musk handled Twitter made him too famous in Twitter’s hometown of San Francisco to have a fair jury there.

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U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen, however, overruled Musk’s request to move the trial to Texas and instead, along with lawyers for both sides, selected the juror who expressed the strongest opinion of Musk in the pre-trial petition.

“Personally, I think he’s a little off his rocker,” said one juror, referring to the Twitter leadership Musk acquired last October.

Those prospective jurors and others said they could weigh the case fairly if elected to set aside their opinions.

The panelists were asked ahead of time about their views on Musk and whether he owns a Tesla vehicle.

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Another prospective juror said Musk was reckless.

Musk, who was finally able to testify at the trial, said in a meeting with representatives of Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund that he believed he had sealed financial backing for the takeover.

The outcome of the trial could overturn the jury’s interpretation of Musk’s motives for the tweet, which Chen has already admitted was false.