NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Monday sued Tesla Inc. for $162.2 million, accusing Elon Musk's electric car company of "flagrantly" breaching a contract related to stock warrants after its share price soared.
According to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Tesla in 2014 sold warrants to JPMorgan that would pay off if their "strike price" were below Tesla's share price upon the warrants' expiration in June and July 2021.
JPMorgan, which said it had authority to adjust the strike price, said it substantially reduced the strike price after Musk's Aug. 7, 2018 tweet that he might take Tesla private at $420 per share and had "funding secured," and reversed some of the reduction when Musk abandoned the idea 17 days later.
But Tesla's share price rose approximately 10-fold by the time the warrants expired, and JPMorgan said this required Tesla under its contract to deliver shares of its stock or cash. The bank said Tesla's failure to do that amounted to a default.