Shareholders Approve Tesla-SolarCity Merger

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Shareholders with Tesla Motors and SolarCity approved a highly contentious merger between the two companies Thursday.

“Tesla’s shareholders have overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of SolarCity,” Tesla officials wrote Thursday in a press statement.

It added: “Excluding the votes of Elon and other affiliated shareholders, more than 85% of shares voted were cast in favor of the acquisition. With SolarCity’s shareholders also having approved the acquisition, the transaction will be completed in the coming days.”

Both companies saw their shares jump by more than 2 percent during afternoon trading.

Elon Musk, who holds about 20 percent stock in each company, recused himself from voting on the merger, as did J.B. Straubel, a member of Tesla’s founding team who now serves on the SolarCity Board of Directors.

The deal is expected to be a boon for the debt-riddled solar panel provider but an anchor around Tesla’s neck.

“It’s great for SolarCity. It doesn’t look as great for Tesla shareholders at this point,” Angelo Zino, an analyst with CFRA Research, told reporters on Wednesday.

The merger came under fire from industry analysts after it was discovered that six out of seven SolarCity board members had intimate connections with Musk and Tesla.

Donald Kendall, chief executive of investment management firm Kenmont, is the only person on the SolarCity board without deep-rooted ties to the California entrepreneur.

CtW Investment Group, which holds 200,000 shares of Tesla, demanded Tesla add two permanent independent directors in June to separate the company’s chairman and CEO roles, and called for two independent directors to review the proposed SolarCity merger deal.

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