Elon Musk’s 2018 tweets have landed Tesla Inc. in trouble. On Monday, JPMorgan Chase and Co. (NYSE: JPM) sued Tesla Inc. (NYSE: TSLA) for $162 million, charging it for breach of contract over warrant transactions. JPM claimed that Tesla never paid them.
“Even though JPMorgan’s adjustments were appropriate and contractually required, Tesla has refused to settle at the contractual strike price and pay in full what it owes to JPMorgan. Tesla is in flagrant breach of its contractual obligations. As a result, more than $162 million is immediately due and payable to JPMorgan by Tesla.”– the filed suit in Manhattan federal court stated
The case is centered around warrant transactions of February and March 2018 that required Tesla to either deliver JPM shares of its stock or cash if its shares’ “strike price” surpassed the mutually decided amount when the warrants expired.
JPM claimed that the warrants lost a notable amount of value after Elon Musk’s tweet in August 2018 that stated, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” The situation was the same until the warrants expired in June and July 2021, with TSLA share prices above original and strike prices.
Tesla and its CEO were fined $20 million by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to settle fraud charges over his tweet in 2018. Additionally, Musk was also removed as the chairman of the company.
JPMorgan said that adjustments were made to reduce the strike price after Elon Musk’s 2018 tweet and after Tesla’s 5-for-1 stock split in 2020. However, “Tesla has refused to settle at the contractual strike price.”
Tesla’s shares ranged from $50-$60 in February-March 2018 and between $600-$700 in June-July 2021 (when the warrants expired). Since then, the shares rose by more than 1000%, closing on Monday.