Musk testifies Saudis backed taking Tesla private before they backpedaled

By Hyunjoo Jin and Jody Godoy SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -Elon Musk testified on Monday that he was sure he had backing from Saudi financiers in 2018 to take Tesla Inc

private, but said the fund later backpedaled on its commitment. At a trial in San Francisco federal court, Musk told the investors' lawyer Nicholas Porritt that he met on

July 31, 2018, with representatives of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory. Musk acknowledged he did

not discuss a takeover price with representatives of the Saudi fund, but said they made clear they would do what it took to make a buyout happen. "PIF unequivocally wanted

to take Tesla private," he testified. Musk subsequently said that Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the fund, later backpedaled on the commitment to take Tesla

private. "I was very upset because he had been unequivocal in his support for taking Tesla private when we met and now he appeared to be backpedaling," Musk

testified. Attorneys for Al-Rumayyan did not immediately return a request for comment. The lawyer for the investors told the court that written evidence does not

support Musk's claim that the Saudi fund made a commitment to him, adding that minutes of a meeting between Musk and the Saudis showed the Saudis wanted to learn more about Musk's

plan. Musk is defending against claims that he defrauded investors when the billionaire tweeted on Aug. 7, 2018, that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420

per share, and that "investor support is confirmed."