SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk slammed shareholders in 2018 when he tweeted on Tuesday that funds were being prepared to take the electric car maker private, which he claimed was a lie. He testified that he had no intention of deceiving and had no intention of deceiving shareholders.
On August 7, 2018, Musk deceived investors by tweeting that it had “funding secured” and “investor support confirmed” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. I am defending the allegation that
He shared information about his interest in taking Tesla private with all investors on Tuesday in response to a question from attorney Alex Spiro after it was already given to a select few. He testified that he intended to
Musk said he had already discussed an interest with Tesla’s board of directors and the Public Investment Fund, a Saudi sovereign wealth fund, and feared it would leak to the media.
“I had no bad motives,” he said. “My intention here was to do the right thing for our shareholders.”
He testified that he did not choose to take Tesla private because he did not have the support of some investors and wanted to avoid a lengthy process.
Musk returned to the stands on Tuesday after attending about five hours on Monday and Friday.
The trial will test whether Musk can be held responsible for his occasional careless use of Twitter.
Tesla shares soared after Musk tweeted $420 a share in 2018. That was a premium of about 23% to the previous day’s closing price, but fell as it became clear that no takeovers would take place. Investors say they lost millions of dollars as a result.
A nine-person jury will decide whether Musk artificially inflated the company’s stock price by advertising its acquisition prospects, and if so, how much.
Musk testified that it was his “opinion” that the funds were secured.
On Monday, Musk said he could have funded the deal by selling a stake in SpaceX, the aerospace company he is also CEO of.
Additionally, Musk testified on Monday that he met with representatives of the Public Investment Fund at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., on July 31, 2018.
He acknowledged that the purchase price was not discussed, but said Saudi representatives made it clear they would do what was necessary to make the deal happen.
Musk said the fund’s president, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, later withdrew his promise to take Tesla private.
A lawyer for Al-Rumayyan did not respond to a request for comment.