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Court filing details the exchange of messages between Elon Musk and Saudi PIF officials on the 420 take Tesla private saga


A court filing from Friday last week revealed the exchange of messages and details of the meetings between Elon Musk and the officials from the Saudi Sovereign Fund — the result of which became the infamous Musk tweet “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured”.

The court filing (pdf below) that the officials from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) actually met with Elon Musk and some other key people at the then Tesla HQ in Fremont California on July 31, 2018. The interest from the Saudi PIF triggered Musk to release the “funding secured” tweet on August 07, 2018.

The deal between Elon Musk and the Saudi PIF did not materialize in the coming days and weeks, resulting in Musk losing his position as Tesla Chairman and paying a fine of $40 million.

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After days of Elon Musk’s $420 funding secured tweet, the Saudi PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan sent text messages to Elon Musk asking for a Tesla factory to be set up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to get the funding. “We would like to explore investing in Tesla subject to being able to create a Tesla production hub in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the text message from Al-Rumayyan stated.

This was a condition that Elon Musk would not agree to at the time when Tesla was already struggling with ramping up Model 3 production at the Fremont factory. Building a Tesla factory in Saudi Arabia would not have been a good idea for Musk as a future prospect as well. Failing to comply with this condition, the Saudi PIF withdrew from buying Tesla.

The Saudi PIF also sold whatever TSLA shares they had at the time and invested in Lucid Motors which is still struggling with production to date.

Following was the consequential text conversation between Al-Rumayyan and Elon Musk that ended the deal:

“I’m sorry, but we cannot work together,” said Musk.

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

“You are throwing me under the bus,” Musk expressed.


Because the Saudi PIF governer’s different statements in the private meeting at Tesla and to the media did not match, Elon Musk did not want to further pursue the takeover by this investor.

Musk wrote to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, “We do not need your fund to get this done. I will not work with an organization whose public statement to the media do not match their private statements to me and my team.”

Just as this recent court filing surfaced online, Elon Musk once again commented on the scenario on Twitter:

“The San Francisco office of the SEC were shameless puppets of Wall St short-seller sharks,” Musk pointed at the SEC fiasco after his $420 funding secured tweet.

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The entire court filing of this case (3:18-cv-04865-EMC) is an interesting read that you can consume below. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.

Source: CourtListener.



By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii