Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Elon Musk Wanted to Impress Girlfriend With $420 Price, SEC Says

(Bloomberg) -- It turns out that the price Elon Musk came up with to take Tesla Inc. private really was about weed, and that the embattled chief executive officer tweeted the figure to impress his girlfriend, the rapper Grimes.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made the connection clear at a Thursday press conference after announcing that it had sued Musk for falsely asserting that he had secured funding to take the company private at $420 a share.

“While leading Tesla’s investors to believe he had a firm offer in hand, we allege that Musk had arrived at the price of $420 by assuming 20 percent premium over Tesla’s then existing share price then rounding up to $420 because of the significance of that number in marijuana culture and his belief that his girlfriend would be amused by it,” Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division said.

Without disputing the reference to cannabis, Musk was quick to criticize the SEC’s decision to bring an enforcement action.

“This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed,” Musk said in an emailed statement. “I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.”

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