In 2018, Elon Musk tweeted that he was about to take Tesla private at $420 a share, sending the company's stock into turmoil for weeks. The general presumption was that he was fooling around and making a weed joke for his social media followers. It certainly wouldn't be the first time, and the chaos resulted from no-one knowing if the joke included the sale or just referred to the price.
Now, forced into court to explain himself to investors, Musk claims it wasn't a joke at all. Also, he says, the private sale was real—to the bonesaw boys of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund—and fell through at the last minute.
During his testimony Monday, Musk told the jury that the proposed $420 per share price to take Tesla private was, "not a joke," and said any connections between it and references to marijuana tropes were purely a coincidence. The CEO said he privately discussed taking the company private with fellow tech founder Michael Dell, who took Dell private in 2013. Musk claims Dell told him he was "unequivocal" that going private was a good idea. …
That initial tweet was just the start though. Musk continued to tweet about his proposed plans to go public despite knowing Tesla was working on crafting a formal statement to explain his thinking to employees and investors. Musk said he kept on tweeting during that time because he was, "worried that shareholders would think I was trying to exclude them," if he stayed silent.
Even if you accept that the deal might have been real, the idea that Musk didn't know what 420 meant when he tweeted that price is another joke. This one's one the court.