New York, Jan 23 – The tycoon Elon Musk, the main shareholder of the electric car company Tesla, said on Monday that he had enough capital to take the company public in 2018 thanks to funds from Saudi Arabia and its SpaceX’s own share.
That was the message on his second day testifying in the civil trial for fraud promoted against him by Tesla investors, who accuse him of millions in losses as a result of a tweet he published in 2018 saying that he would take the company off the stock market.
“With the SpaceX stock alone, I felt the funding was secured,” he said on his second day on the stand, defending himself against a class action lawsuit by investors who say they lost money because of his tweets proposing to take the company off the stock market. automaker, according to The Wall Street Journal’s account of the trial.
Musk also detailed in the trial that is being held in a federal court in San Francisco (California, USA) that he met with representatives of the fund from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the end of July 2018, a week before raising the possibility of privatizing Tesla on the social network.
In that meeting, as the billionaire declared on Monday, a specific price for taking Tesla out of the stock market was not discussed, nor was there a signed document, but when the meeting with the Saudis ended, he thought it was a “closed deal.”
“What was really and totally unequivocal was that they absolutely supported taking Tesla public,” said the also owner of Twitter.
In 2018 Musk tweeted: “I’m considering taking Tesla public at $420. Funding secured.”
Tesla shares then closed up 11% after the tweet and then fell as questions were raised about the deal, which never materialized.
A lawyer for the investor group that brought the lawsuit against Musk and Tesla said at trial that Musk lied when he said he had obtained funds to take Tesla private.
Last Friday, on his first day in the state, Musk denied that there is a “causal relationship” between his messages and the company’s stock market value.
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