A courtroom sketch shows Tesla CEO Elon Musk testifying on January 23, 2023.
Elon Musk admitted he didn’t have a “specific number” for how much funding was needed to take Tesla private, according to Reuters.
The billionaire CEO is being sued by Tesla investors for millions of dollars in damages after his notorious “funding secured” tweet.
“Funding was absolutely not an issue,” Musk said. “It was quite the opposite.”
Elon Musk said he didn’t have a “specific number” for how much funding was needed to secure his plan to take Tesla off the stock market, admitting he did not have binding commitments from investors.
Musk sidestepped simple “yes” or “no” responses to questions raised by Nicholas Porritt, a lawyer for the investors, about securing funding pledges by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, according to report by Reuters. This prompted the judge to step in and ask whether a specific dollar amount, rather than concepts, were discussed.
“Not a specific number,” Musk said in the San Francisco federal court, according to the report.
The billionaire CEO is being sued by Tesla investors for millions of dollars in damages after tweeting he had “funding secured” to take the automaker private at $420 per share back in 2018. The company’s stock initially surged after the tweet, but fell once it became clear the buyout was a no-go.
Earlier this week, Musk testified that he sent out the notorious tweet only after Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund, had verbally expressed support for the buyout plan, but that the Saudi investor then backpedaled on their plans.
He maintained, however, that securing financing was no big deal, telling the jury he could have sought funds from several different sources like existing shareholders including Oracle Corp or dipping into his own fortune and selling SpaceX stock.
“Funding was absolutely not an issue,” Musk said in court on Tuesday. “It was quite the opposite.”
The jury was shown board meeting documents where Goldman Sachs, which was working with Musk on the proposed buyout at the time, had suggested there would be more than enough funding to privatize the company, Reuters reported.
Musk also told the court that Google had “a standing interest” in buying the car company.
As the trial continues into the next week, the jury will be left to decide if Musk can be held liable for his tweets.
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Source:: Business Insider