- Elon Musk Wanted to Impress Girlfriend With $420 Price, SEC Says
It turns out that the price Elon Musk came up with to take Tesla Inc. private really was about weed, and that the embattled chief executive officer tweeted the figure to impress his girlfriend, the rapper Grimes.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made the connection clear at a Thursday press conference after announcing that it had sued Musk for falsely asserting that he had secured funding to take the company private at $420 a share.
“While leading Tesla’s investors to believe he had a firm offer in hand, we allege that Musk had arrived at the price of $420 by assuming 20 percent premium over Tesla’s then existing share price then rounding up to $420 because of the significance of that number in marijuana culture and his belief that his girlfriend would be amused by it,” Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division said.
Without disputing the reference to cannabis, Musk was quick to criticize the SEC’s decision to bring an enforcement action.
“This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed,” Musk said in an emailed statement. “I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.”
Elon Musk was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of misleading investors when he tweeted that he had funding lined up to take Tesla Inc. private.
The SEC’s allegation, contained in a lawsuit filed fewer than two months after the Tesla CEO’s tweet, sent the company’s shares down more than 11 percent in after-hours trading. It sought unspecified monetary penalties and added a market-rattling request — that a judge bar Musk from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
TSLA is down 10% in after market trading