“Cathie made me do it!”
Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report CEO Elon Musk testified that Cathie Wood, Ark Investment Management CEO, played a role in his decision to scrap plans to take the electric vehicle maker public.
Tesla shareholders are suing the company over losses they say they suffered when Musk tweeted he had “secured” money to take the company private at $420 per share.
Musk told the court that Wood sent him a letter indicating small investors would like Tesla to stay publicly traded, Markets Insider reported.
Musk, who bought Twitter on Oct. 27 for $44 billion, has a history of tweeting on the social media site long before he owned the company.
The Aug. 7, 2018 tweet — “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” — has already cost him millions in Securities and Exchange Commission fines and forced him to step down as Tesla chairman.
Wood Buys Up Tesla Shares
Musk also testified that was trying to do the “right thing” when he issued the tweet, according to BBC News.
The self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” of Twitter said he had met with a Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund which indicated support for a deal. Musk also said he never discussed a specific funding amount.
Wood has absorbed 756,680 Tesla shares this month alone, valued at roughly $99.5 million.
Tesla shares have tumbled over the last year amid worries about production and demand issues. Musk’s preoccupation with Twitter haven’t helped matters either.
A video clip of Musk exiting the courthouse that was posted on Twitter on Jan. 24 shows the executive’s brief encounter with the media.
“I can’t comment, legal stuff,” Musk tells reporters. “I’m curious what do you guys think?”
“Ahh…we weren’t listening,” came the response.
“Do you feel good about how it went?” another reporter asked.
“Yeah, I think so,” Musk said before getting into a car and leaving.