Elon Musk privately raged at Saudi officials over his failed plan to privatize Tesla

Elon Musk privately raged at Saudi officials over his failed plan to privatize Tesla

Elon Musk privately raged at Saudi officials over his failed plan to privatize Tesla

Elon Musk raged at the head of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for failing to back his bid to take Tesla private in 2018, complaining he was thrown “under the bus”, according to recently leaked text messages.

“I am deeply offended,” Musk wrote to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), on August 12, 2018. The texts were sent days after Musk shocked the financial world by tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, adding “secure financing”.

The now infamous tweet has sparked a lawsuit from Tesla shareholders, who claim Musk lied about having the money to delist Tesla from the stock market and take it private. As part of the lawsuit, a series of texts between Musk, shareholders, board members and other relevant parties were disclosed in a recent court filing.

Musk’s texts with Al-Rumayyan are notable for the fierceness displayed. The billionaire CEO was infuriated by reports that claimed PIF had “shown no interest” in helping take Tesla private, saying Saudi officials had told him otherwise. The reports were “false” and “outrageous”, Musk said.

“This is an extremely weak statement and does not reflect the conversation we had at Tesla,” Musk said in one of the posts, linked to a Bloomberg narrative. “You said you were definitely interested in taking Tesla private and wanted to do it since 2016. You also made it clear that you were the decision-maker, incidentally strongly supported by the Crown Prince, who sees this as strategically important to the National level. level.”

He added: “I’m sorry, but we can’t work together.”

“It’s up to you Elon,” Al-Rumayyan replied.

“You throw me under the bus,” Musk said.

“It takes two to tango,” Al-Rumayyan said, adding that PIF had not yet received financial information from Musk’s team regarding the plan to take Tesla private. The PIF governor said the fund would not be able to move forward in talks with Tesla without “sufficient information”.

Musk criticized Al-Rumayyan for claiming to need more information than already disclosed in Tesla’s regulatory filings. He texted: “Yasir, when we met at Tesla recently, you said that you were the decision maker of the PIF, that you had wanted to do the Tesla privatization deal for two years and that it was directly supported by the crown prince. I checked with my team who was at that meeting in case I remembered anything wrong and they confirmed it exactly.

He added: “You are extremely experienced financially and you know well what a privatization would require, that is to say that it would take at least a 20% premium in the market to buy out shareholders who do not do so. .want to stay with the business when it’s private.This is all standard practice.Nothing unusual at all.

“There are many other investment funds that want to be part of this deal,” Musk continued. “We don’t need your fund to do this. I will not work with any organization whose public statements to the media do not match their private statements to me and my team.

Al-Rumayyan reiterated the need for more information before talks could proceed, while denying that anyone at the PIF had “gone to the media”. But Musk could not be called out.

“I’ve read the article. It’s weak sauce and it still makes me look like a liar,” Musk bubbled. in person.”

Al-Rumayyan insisted they continue the discussion privately, but Musk refused. “I’m sorry, but there will be no more communication unless you correct the public perception of the PIF’s vapid support and interest,” he wrote. “That’s not what you said to me and my team in private. Someone is either a friend or not a friend and no friend says one thing privately and another publicly. It’s not not correct.”

Musk’s tweet about Tesla’s privatization also sparked an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which ultimately concluded that, despite having held a few meetings with PIF, Musk “never discussed ‘a $420 per share going-private deal with potential’. source of funding, had done nothing to determine whether it would be possible for all current investors to remain with Tesla as a private company through a “special purpose fund”, and had not confirmed investor support from Tesla for a possible privatization transaction. The SEC is currently in litigation with Musk over the results of the investigation.

Musk eventually abandoned his plan to take Tesla private, concluding that it distracted from the company’s efforts to produce its Model 3 electric sedan. Musk also said the process of exploring his options reinforced his belief that ” there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private.”

The folder also contains a slew of additional messages, including texts Musk sent to Google co-founder Larry Page. Two days after sending his “funding secured” tweet, Musk texted Page, “I just called. By the way, it’s Elon. I don’t know if you have my new number.

“No, I didn’t…I travel. Nice block 5!” Page replied.

“Thank you!” Musk said, adding, “Do you want to invest in Tesla? ”

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