Tesla & JP Morgan dispute arose from Elon Musk’s tweets

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption ‘This is just a mountain that Elon Musk is going to have to climb to get over,’ Musk said in a tweet

The New York investment bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, says it is owed $162m (£114m) by Tesla because of a string of tweets from chief executive Elon Musk.

In a statement, the bank said: “Tesla has informed us that it believes the contractual legal basis for Tesla’s breach of its rights over the original dispute is strong.”

Its problems stem from a string of tweets Mr Musk sent on 25 February.

He was trying to calm down a falling share price and said that SpaceX plans to “bring electric rockets to Mars.”

The statement about the Tesla tweet case came after the bank said it is ending its venture to invest in five Chinese car firms.

There have been reports of a tug-of-war between the bank and Alibaba Group over the stake it will gain in the car companies from a $5.8bn (£4.1bn) investment.

Mr Musk has tweeted on multiple occasions about the supposed “tweetstorm” he had over the weekend which purported to explain the bank’s position in the matter.

In a tweet, the technology entrepreneur asked: “Please don’t link to this. It’s a company (JPMorgan) related to the deal.”

“This is just a mountain that Elon Musk is going to have to climb to get over,” he said in another.

Tesla has said that it had an interest in making use of JP Morgan’s investment knowledge to help it to “better execute” and to protect itself from “digital attacks”, it said in a statement.

Tesla finished down 6.9% at $288.24 on Wednesday. It has declined more than 20% since the first of the month.

Mr Musk promised in the original January 9 tweet, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

This set off a series of events that culminated in the SEC having Musk face a fraud trial and the 33-year-old being removed as chair of Tesla and vice-chair of the SolarCity board.

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