Tesla, SolarCity set shareholders vote on proposed acquisition

Tesla and SolarCity have set 17 November for their shareholders to vote on the electric automobile manufacturer’s proposed $2.6bn acquisition of the leading US rooftop PV player.

The deal is controversial and critics assert it amounts to a bailout for SolarCity. Both companies have posted financial losses since going public and are suffering from a cash squeeze.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is also chairman of SolarCity, where his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive are chief executive and head of technology, respectively. Musk is the largest shareholder of both companies, and will not vote on the offer.

Musk has defended the deal as a money-saver that will create a one-stop shop for consumers to generate, store and consume energy entirely in sustainable fashion. The resulting suite of integrated products that will include automobiles, batteries and solar energy, which he believes will add aesthetics and function while reducing cost.

“By leveraging SolarCity’s installation network and Tesla’s global retail footprint, we can do this in a way that is seamless for our customers and that we expect will create significant value for our shareholders,” Tesla said in a blog posting today.

It said on 28 October, Tesla and SolarCity will unveil a solar roof product, which along with Powerwall 2.0, will show the kinds of products that the combined company will be able to create. Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery product that Tesla manufacturers for home use.

On 1 November, Tesla will provide additional financial information relating to its plans for the combined company.