Monday, 06 Feb 2023

Musk tells court he lacked specific funding to take Tesla private

Musk tells court he lacked specific funding to take Tesla private


Musk tells court he lacked specific funding to take Tesla private

Elon Musk expected strong financial support when he tweeted that he would take Tesla private in 2018, but lacked specific commitments from potential backers, according to testimony he gave on his third day of questioning in a San Francisco federal court.

Musk is accused of defrauding investors by driving up the price of Tesla stock by tweeting on 7 August 2018 that he had "funding secured" to take the electric carmaker private.

The trial is testing whether the world's second-richest person can be held liable for his use of Twitter. At stake are millions of dollars for shareholders who claim they suffered losses after Musk tweeted that "investor support is confirmed" for the deal.

Tesla's stock price surged after Musk's tweets, and later fell as it became clear the buyout would not happen.

Musk told the jury on Tuesday that he could have drawn upon several sources of financing to take Tesla private, from existing shareholders like Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund or his own fortune.

"Funding was absolutely not an issue," Musk said. "It was quite the opposite."

Musk, however, acknowledged he did not have binding agreements with investors, leaving it to the jury to decide if he misled shareholders.

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