Tesla’s former chief of staff said he had a sense that the PIF and Elon Musk “made a handshake deal to proceed with taking Tesla private” in 2018. The governor of the fund assured that they had “a lot of money” to complete the expensive privatization.
Former Tesla chief of staff Sam Teller, who worked closely with Elon Musk from 2014 to 2019, testified in court on Wednesday in the Tesla privatization case. He detailed a series of meetings his former boss had with representatives of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and his perception of what was happening at the time.
Teller said Musk's meetings with the governor of the PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, began in January 2017. Since then, they have met five times. During a July 31, 2018 meeting, which was the last one, Musk became increasingly excited as he discussed taking Tesla private. Teller said he remembers his former boss telling Al-Rumayyan that Tesla's privatization would be expensive.
“Yasir was, like, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ve got a lot of money,’” Teller said.
Teller witnessed the meeting ending on a happy note, with everything pointing to an agreement. “It was my sense they made a handshake deal to proceed” with taking Tesla private.
More articles on this topic:
- Former Tesla CFO Says in Court that Everything Indicated Saudi PIF Was Ready to Make Deal to Take Company Private in 2018
- Tesla Chairman Says Elon Musk Didn’t Mislead Public with Tweet About Company's Privatization in 2018
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.