Investors are suing Elon Musk over an August 2018 tweet where he claims he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private.
Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed Saudi Arabia’s top wealth manager to be a defense witness in the upcoming court case.
Text messages disclosed in April showed Musk angry at Yasir Al-Rumayyan for not supporting his efforts to privatize Tesla.
Elon Musk’s lawyers are trying to force Saudi Arabia’s top wealth manager to testify in upcoming litigation over a now-infamous tweet in which the Tesla CEO said he was considering taking the EV manufacturer private.
Tesla’s legal team subpoenaed Private Investment Fund governor Yasir al-Rumayyan on December 19, according to documents filed Tuesday – with a San Francisco court case set to start later this month.
Investors suing Musk say that the world’s second-richest man manipulated Tesla’s share price in 2018 when he claimed that he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 a share.
That deal never happened, with Tesla remaining publicly listed and trading at $108.10 a share as of Tuesday’s closing bell.
PIF is a sovereign wealth fund – meaning that it invests on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s government. It manages around $620 billion worth of assets, according to its most recent annual report.
Musk has since publicly claimed and in court documents that he had a handshake deal for the fund to provide the necessary cash for Tesla to delist from the S&P 500.
Previous court filings released in April 2022 showed that Musk slammed al-Rumayyan via text message after Bloomberg reported that the two parties were merely “in talks” over a potential Tesla buyout.
“I read the article. It is weak sauce and still makes me sound like a liar. It is filled with equivocation and in no way indicates the strong interest you convey in person,” Musk texted al-Rumayyan in August 2018.
“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,” al-Rumayyan responded.
“I am your friend. So, please don’t treat me like an enemy,” he added.
As well as serving as PIF governor, al-Rumayyan is the chair of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco and the English soccer club Newcastle United – in which the fund bought an 80% stake in 2021.
Tesla and PIF did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Read more: Elon Musk raged at the head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund for failing to support his bid to take Tesla private, texts show
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