Recently released texts from 2018 between Elon Musk and the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund have provided more insight into Musk’s attempt to take Tesla private. In the text, Musk complains to the Saudis: “You are throwing me under the bus.”
Bloomberg reports that recently released text messages between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Silicon Valey friends, investors, and the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)have provided more insight into Musk’s alleged plan to take Tesla private.
In 2018, Musk infamously tweeted that he would be taking Tesla private at $420 a share (the specific price being a marijuana reference also reflected in Musk’s recent Twitter bid) and that he had “funding secured” to do so.
Shortly after the announcement, Musk backed down stating that he would not be taking the electric car company private, writing a lengthy post about why he had made such a sudden change. The post came shortly after a damning report by the New York Post featuring quotes from Tesla insiders which described the company as a “sh*t show” under Musk. From building a production line in a tent to produce 5,000 cars a week, 4,300 of which needed reworking, to Musk facing an SEC investigation over his “funding secured” tweets, Tesla faced some tough months.
Musk was eventually sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission which alleged that he committed securities fraud. Musk finally agreed to an SEC settlement after initially refusing and both he and Tesla paid a $20 million fine; but in February of this year, it was reported that Musk was issued another subpoena by the SEC which was attempting to determine whether he had complied with the settlement agreement.
Shareholders are now suing Tesla and Musk over money they lost following Musk’s tweets in 2018 in which he stated that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. A judge has now ruled that Musk knowingly made false statements in posting these tweets.
Now, new texts have provided more context for the situation. A 300-page motion filed late Friday as part of a shareholder lawsuit against Musk included multiple texts between Musk and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the head of the Saudi PIF. In one message, Musk discusses a Bloomberg article that reported that the Saudi fund was “said to be in talks” to take Tesla private.
Musk writes in the text: “This is an extremely weak statement and does not reflect the conversation we had at Tesla. You said you were definitely interested in taking Tesla private and had wanted to do so since 2016. I’m sorry, but we cannot work together.”
Al-Rumayyan responds: “It’s up to you Elon,” to which Musk states: “You are throwing me under the bus.” Al-Rumayyan responded to Musk: “It takes two to tango. We haven’t received anything yet.” Al-Rumayyan goes on to Tell Musk: “We cannot approve something that we don’t have sufficient information on” and states that he’s been waiting for more financial information on the situation.
Later Rumayyan urges Musk to read the Bloomberg article to which Musk responds: “I read the article. It is weak sauce and still makes me sound like a liar. It is filled with equivocation and in no way indicates the strong interest you conveyed in person.”
The deal, of course, did not come to pass and Musk attempted to move forward with backing from the private equity firm Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. but later shelved the plans to take Tesla private.
Read more at Bloomberg here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org