JPMorgan says it could be owed more than $162 million from Elon Musk because of a highly controversial tweet he sent about taking Tesla private.
The note to shareholders said Tesla owes JPMorgan $3.08 million due on August 7, the day Musk tweeted that he had secured funding to take the company private at $420 a share.
The tweet was widely interpreted as an endorsement of that price. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating the matter.
The letter says that it considers the tweet “anti-party,” which bars it from acting as Tesla’s banker.
The bank said it’s owed an additional $58.2 million “for representing that he (Musk) had a ‘going private’ deal pending at the time of the tweet.”
It does not explicitly name Musk as the contact. But the letter says that Tesla has been invoiced for $13.2 million under an existing credit agreement.
The bank said that it is also owed $20.4 million for “representing that Elon (Musk) was in discussions to acquire all of the common stock.”
JPMorgan is not the only brokerage to say it’s owed.
Bank of America said last week that it could be owed $87 million for representing that Musk had the right to act as his own banker. Morgan Stanley said last week that it had an outstanding estimate of $63 million in costs that it said Tesla was obligated to pay.
Musk tweeted that he had “secured financing” for the deal. And then, during a conference call with investors about the question-and-answer session following the announcement, he amended that to say “funding secured.”
Tesla has repeatedly refused to comment on its dealings with the SEC, other than to say it has received a letter from the agency asking for information.
The company has been locked in a fight with the SEC over Musk’s erratic tweeting habits in recent months.
In January, he tweeted that Tesla had been talking to the Saudi Arabia Investment Authority, which some have speculated could be taking a stake in the company, about taking it private.
And earlier this month, he tweeted a story to his followers saying the SEC had approved his plan to take Tesla private, before it had received a formal approval.
That tweet came after the disclosure of a securities fraud probe into the Musk tweets.
JPMorgan’s note to shareholders doesn’t make any mention of Musk’s return to social media. On Tuesday he tweeted about the Musk’s Consumer Electronics Show announcement earlier in the day: “First show inside (the) show floor. It’s amazing watching people fascinate with a robot tunnel which is basically just a giant electronic version of a (trunk) balance beam.”