‘There was no bad motive’ in tweet about Tesla acquisition

Michael Riedtke

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk is back in federal court to defend himself against a class action lawsuit. The class-action lawsuit alleges that he misled Tesla shareholders in a tweet about the cancellation of the acquisition, which the billionaire defiantly claimed on Tuesday.

Musk was acquitted by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen after spending about three more hours in the stands during the third day of testimony. Musk, 51, is unlikely to be summoned to the witness stand in a civil trial in early February when he will be handed over to a nine-member jury.

Musk, who continues to run Tesla and also owns Twitter, has a perfectly credible business that can raise as much money as he needs to pursue his vision from his lawyer, Alex Spiro. I spent much of Tuesday portraying myself while being interrogated for being the leader. He had a violent altercation with shareholder attorney Nicholas Porritt, who expressed anger early in the trial.

On Tuesday, under Spiro’s gentle urging, Musk left no doubt about his insults to Porritt, expressing suspicions that the lawyers were in the best interests of Tesla shareholders. The remark was immediately condemned by the judge and expunged from the record. “It’s inappropriate,” Chen advised Musk at one point.

When Mr. Polritt challenged Mr. Musk, he deliberately looked away from his lawyer and looked directly at the juror seated a few feet to his right. In another instance, Musk argued, without further elaboration, that the question asking whether Porritt had caused investors to lose money contained “falsehoods.”

On the flip side, Spiro at one point mistakenly called Musk “your honor” and asked the billionaire how much money he made for investors during his career. The failure sparked a lighthearted moment in a San Francisco courtroom packed with media and other audiences who attended to hear Musk, who has become even more famous since buying Twitter for $44 billion.

The current trial hinges on whether Musk’s two tweets posted on Aug. 7, 2018, hurt Tesla’s shareholders in the 10 days before he admitted the buyout he envisioned didn’t happen. increase. The statement led Musk and Tesla to a $40 million settlement without admitting wrongdoing.

In his first tweet in 2018, Musk said the company should be worth $72 billion ($420 per share) at a time when the electric car maker was still grappling with production issues and was worth far less than Tesla. He said that Tesla’s buyout was “financing secured.” Now. Musk followed up a few hours later with another tweet suggesting a deal was imminent.

After those tweets, Musk declared that Tesla would remain public in the coming weeks. A month after that, Musk and Tesla reached a $40 million settlement with securities regulators who claimed his tweets were misleading.

Musk has previously claimed that he entered the settlement under duress and that his belief that he had the money for the deal never wavered.

Musk spent most of Tuesday trying to convince jurors that he could fund him to take Tesla private because the electric car maker was struggling with production problems and was far less valuable than it is today. There was no malice in the two tweets showing that the It will be up to the jury to decide whether he deceived the house and whether his remarks caused them a loss.

While being manipulated by Spiro, Musk told jurors he only said he was “considering” buying Tesla, but never promised the deal would go through. He thought it was important to let investors know that the company might be ready to put an end to its eight-year run, he said.

“There was no malice,” Musk said. “My intention was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”

Mr. Musk, who had been harshly criticized by Mr. Polritt the day before, was at times belligerent, resentful and resentful. During a 2018 meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund representatives, Musk has claimed to have secured the necessary funding for his $72 billion acquisition of Tesla, though no specific funding amount or price has been announced. was not discussed.

When presented with texts and emails showing that representatives of the Saudi fund never promised to finance a full Tesla takeover, Musk said it was trying to backtrack from earlier promises made in private conversations. He claimed that it was nothing more than the words of someone else.

Shortly after Porritt resumed questioning on Tuesday, Musk once again scoffed at the notion that his belief that he was Saudi-funded wasn’t enough to tweet about a potential Tesla takeover. attached.

“We are talking about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Musk testified. “They can buy a Tesla as many times as they want. It wasn’t a lot of money for them.”

Musk also repeated earlier testimony that he could finance the Tesla acquisition by sharing a portion of his stake in SpaceX, the privately held rocket ship maker he started. This is similar to what he did with his Twitter acquisition, which saw him sell about $23 billion in Tesla shares.

That’s something Musk said Tuesday he didn’t want to do, but it showed he has the means to put together a purchase for an expensive deal. has also proved unpopular with Tesla shareholders, who fear he will become a distraction as the automaker faces increasing competition. Since Musk took over his Twitter, Tesla’s stock has lost about a third of its value to him.

Despite that recession, adjusting for the two splits that have occurred since then is about seven times more valuable than it was at the time of Musk’s 2018 tweet. That allowed Musk to remind jurors on Tuesday that any investor who held Tesla shares in August 2018 would have “done very well” had they held the shares. became.

“It would have been the best investment in the stock market,” Musk said.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/24/elon-musk-defiantly-defends-himself-in-tesla-tweet-trial-2/ ‘There was no bad motive’ in tweet about Tesla acquisition

Exit mobile version