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

Elon Musk angered the head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund for failing to back his bid to take Tesla private in 2018, complaining that he was being thrown “under the bus,” according to newly released text messages.

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

The now infamous tweet sparked a lawsuit from Tesla shareholders, who allege Musk lied about the money it took to take Tesla private and keep it private. As part of the lawsuit, a series of texts between Musk, shareholders, board members and other relevant parties were released in a recent court filing

“This is an extremely weak statement”

Musk’s lyrics with Al-Rumayyan stand out for the brutality on display. The billionaire’s CEO was outraged by news reports claiming that PIF “has shown no interest” in helping to take Tesla private, alleging Saudi officials told him otherwise. The news reports were “false” and “outrageous,” Musk raged.

“This is an extremely weak statement and does not reflect the conversation we had at Tesla,” Musk said in one of the posts, link to a Bloomberg story† “You said you were definitely interested in taking Tesla private and have wanted to do so since 2016. You also made it clear that you were the decision maker, furthermore strongly supported by the Crown Prince, who considers this strategically important on a national level.”

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

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

“You’re throwing me under the bus,” Musk said.

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

“It takes two to tango”

Musk criticized Al-Rumayyan for claiming it needed more information than was already disclosed in Tesla’s regulatory filings. He texted: “Yasir, when we recently met at Tesla, you mentioned that you were the decision maker for PIF, that you wanted to close the Tesla takeprivate deal for two years and that this was directly supported by the Crown Prince. I have with my team who had been checked at that meeting if I remembered anything wrong and they confirmed it exactly.”

He added: “You are very experienced financially and know very well what a go-private would require, which is that there should be a premium of at least 20% in the market to buy out shareholders who don’t. wanting to stay off the company when it’s private. This is all standard practice. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.”

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

Al-Rumayyan reiterated the need for more information before talks could continue, while also denying that anyone at PIF “had gone to the media”. But Musk couldn’t be talked down.

“I have read the article. It’s a bland sauce and I still sound like a liar,” Musk gagged. “It’s full of ambiguity and in no way reflects the strong interest that you personally conveyed.”

Al-Rumayyan insisted that they continue the private discussion, but Musk declined. “I’m sorry, but there will be no further communication unless you restore the public perception of PIF’s lack of support and interest,” he wrote. “That’s not what you said to me and my team in private. Someone is a friend or not a friend and no friend says one thing in private and another in public. This is not right.”

“There will be no further communication unless you restore the public perception of lack of support and interest from PIF”

Musk’s tweet about taking Tesla private also sparked an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which ultimately concluded that while he had a few meetings with PIF, Musk “never talked about a $420 a share private transaction.” with any potential source of funding, had done nothing to explore 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 Tesla’s investors’ support for a potential private transaction. ” The SEC is currently pursuing a lawsuit with Musk over the results of the investigation.

Musk eventually dropped his plan to take Tesla private, concluding that it was distracting 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 submission also features 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: “Just called. By the way, this is Elon. I’m not sure you have my new number.’

“No, I didn’t…I’m on a trip. Nice block 5!” Page replied.

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

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