Newly-Released Court Docs Show How Elon Musk’s 2018 Deal With Saudi Fund Fell Through

A transcript of Elon Musk’s exchange with Yassir Al-Rumayyan, the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, was included in a 300-page motion that was filed late Friday as part of an ongoing shareholder lawsuit related to Musk’s “funding secured” tweet to take Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) private. 

In the exchange, Musk confronted the PIF head about a Bloomberg article that reported that PIF “is working to be part of any investor pool that emerges to take Tesla private.” An offended Musk found the article “weak sauce” and told Al-Rumauyyan that it “in no way indicates the strong interest you conveyed in person.”

“You are throwing me under the bus,” Musk called out Al-Ramuyyan.

The Saudi fund bought a 5% stake in the EV maker, and Musk claimed in a text message that Al-Ramuyyan said that PIF had been interested in a take-private deal for two years. Al-Ramuyyan, meanwhile, repeatedly emphasized that PIF was waiting for paperwork from Tesla that would detail how they would move forward.

“Let’s see the numbers and get our people to meet and discuss. We cannot approve something that we don’t have sufficient information on. We’ve agreed that you will send the financial information and the way going forward within a week and nothing happened since. The last thing I want to do is the ‘through you under the bus’ [sic] I am your friend. So, please don’t treat me like an enemy. I’m willing to fly to you or we can meet somewhere in Europe and discuss a constructive next steps,” Al-Ramuyyan offered.

The conversation proceeded with Musk demanding that there will be no further communication unless Al-Ramuyyan can “fix the public perception of wishy washy support and interest from PIF.”

“In light of these actions and nothing meaningful done to correct them, Tesla will be moving forward with Silver Lake, Goldman and other investors to take Tesla private,” he added. After about 30 minutes, Al-Ramuyyan told Musk that he will ask his people to work with Musk’s people on a statement. And this seemed to please the billionaire.

But the deal would not push through. Shortly after, Musk, who was “still upset,” decided to go forward with private equity firm Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., only to decide to pivot back and stay public over a week later. He cited the interests of many other large investors on a late night announcement through a blog post on the Tesla site.

The conversation with PIF’s Al-Ramuyyan gives spectators a glimpse into Musk’s deal-making temperament and tendency to make rash statements and decisions — making people wonder about his state as he goes through the ongoing saga of what looks to be a successful attempt to acquire Twitter.

Information for this briefing was found via Court Listener, Twitter, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Views expressed within are solely that of the author. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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