Saudi PIF spat with Elon Musk revealed in US federal court

A quarrel between the managing director of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and American billionaire Elon Musk has been disclosed in text conversations discovered in a US court.

Tesla shareholders are suing Musk, the car company’s CEO, in a US federal court, according to Bloomberg News, following a tweet he put out in August 2018. In the tweet, Musk wrote: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

The money, which included a contribution from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, did not materialize, and Tesla’s stock price fluctuated drastically, with stockholders claiming that this lost them billions of dollars. Musk’s lawyers claim that the tweet, which was sent to his tens of millions of followers, was completely true.

An exchange of communications between Musk and Yasir al-Rumayyan, managing director of the Saudi PIF, was handed to the court as part of the legal case, in which the two men discussed the investment fund taking Tesla private.

In his texts to Rumayyan, Musk expressed dissatisfaction with a Bloomberg piece claiming that the PIF was reported to be “in talks” to take Tesla private.

“This is an extremely weak statement and does not reflect the conversation we had at Tesla. You said you were definitely interested in taking Tesla private and had wanted to do so since 2016,” Musk texted Rumayyan, before adding: “I’m sorry, but we cannot work together.”

Rumayyan responded: “It’s up to you Elon.” Musk then replied saying “You are throwing me under the bus,” while Rumayyan responded saying “It takes two to tango, we haven’t received anything yet.”

Later, Rumayyan said that the Saudi PIF “cannot approve something that we don’t have sufficient information on.” He also indicated that he was still waiting for additional financial details.

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