Tesla served another subpoena over Elon Musk's 2018's 'go-private' tweets, filing shows

Electric vehicle maker also disclosed it took an impairment charge of $170m on its Bitcoin holdings for the first six months of the year

Tesla earned $2.3 billion in net profit in the three-month period to the end of June, beating market estimates. AFP
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Tesla, the world's most valuable car maker, received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission on June 13 regarding its co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk’s tweets on taking the company private in 2018, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

Tesla said it will co-operate with the authorities.

Billionaire businessman Mr Musk exposed himself to legal risk by tweeting on August 7, 2018, that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. He did not provide details to support his claim.

“The SEC had issued subpoenas to Tesla in connection with Elon Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private. The take-private investigation was resolved and closed with a settlement entered into with the SEC in September 2018 and as further clarified in April 2019 in an amendment,” the world’s biggest electric vehicle maker said in its latest filing with the regulator.

“On November 16, 2021, and June 13, 2022, the SEC issued subpoenas to us seeking information on our governance processes around compliance with the SEC settlement, as amended,” it added.

On November 16 last year, SEC issued a subpoena to Tesla related to a previous settlement that required Mr Musk’s tweets on material information about the company to be vetted.

A subpoena is a formal written order that requires a person to appear before a court, or other legal proceedings, and testify, or produce documentation.

The Nasdaq-listed company's stock price gained about 1.3 per cent to $827 in pre-market trading on Monday, giving it a market capitalisation of more than $846.4 billion.

Tesla, which converted nearly 75 per cent of its Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency in the April-June period, disclosed that the value of its digital assets was $222bn as of June 30.

Tesla chief executive and co-founder Elon Musk. AP

The Texas-based company said it also took an impairment charge of $170 million on its Bitcoin holdings for the first six months of the year, while recording a $64m gain from converting the world’s biggest digital currency into fiat currency.

“As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash-equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions,” Tesla said in the filing.

“Any decrease in their [digital assets’] fair values below our carrying values for such assets at any time subsequent to their acquisition will require us to recognise impairment charges, whereas we may make no upwards revisions for any market price increases until a sale,” it said.

Last week, Tesla posted a strong second-quarter net profit despite supply chain disruptions and it maintained its production forecasts.

The company earned $2.3bn in net profit in the three-month period to the end of June, beating analyst's estimates of $1.9bn. The sales during the quarter jumped 42 per cent to more than $16.9bn.

Updated: July 25, 2022, 2:33 PM