Elon Musk's lawyers are trying to force Saudi Arabia's top wealth manager to testify in upcoming litigation over a now-infamous tweet in which the Tesla CEO said he was considering taking the EV manufacturer private.Tesla's legal team subpoenaed Private Investment Fund governor Yasir al-Rumayyan on December 19, according to documents filed Tuesday – with a San Francisco court case set to start later this month.Investors suing Musk say that the world's second-richest man manipulated Tesla's share price in 2018 when he claimed that he had "funding secured" to take the company private at $420 a share.That deal never happened, with Tesla remaining publicly listed and trading at $108.10 a share as of Tuesday's closing bell. PIF is a sovereign wealth fund – meaning that it invests on behalf of Saudi Arabia's government. It manages around $620 billion worth of assets, according to its most recent annual report.Musk has since claimed publicly and in court documents that he had a handshake deal for the fund to provide the necessary cash for Tesla to delist from the S&P 500.Previous court filings released in April 2022 showed that Musk slammed al-Rumayyan via text message after Bloomberg reported that the two parties were merely "in talks" over a potential Tesla buyout."I read the article.
It is weak sauce and still makes me sound like a liar. It is filled with equivocation and in no way indicates the strong interest you conveyed in person," Musk texted al-Rumayyan in August 2018. "Let's see the numbers and get our people to meet and discuss.
We cannot approve something that we don't have sufficient information on," al-Rumayyan responded."I am your friend. So, please don't treat me like an enemy," he added.As well as serving as PIF governor, al-Rumayyan is the chair of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco and the English soccer club Newcastle United – in which the fund bought an 80% stake in 2021.Tesla and PIF did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment. Read more: Elon Musk raged at the head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund for failing to support his bid to take Tesla private, texts show