Elon Musk testified in a San Francisco federal court on Monday that he was certain he had the backing of Saudi financiers to take Tesla Inc private in 2018.
He is defending himself against accusations that he defrauded investors by tweeting about the electric car company later that year.
Musk stated that he had met with representatives of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, at Tesla’s California factory on July 31, 2018, and that the PIF “unequivocally wanted to take Tesla private.”
The trial will determine if Musk artificially inflated Tesla’s stock price by promoting the buyout’s prospects and if so, by how much.
The plaintiffs have already cleared high legal hurdles in the rare securities class action, with a US judge ruling last May that Musk’s post was untruthful and reckless.