Tesla, SolarCity get shareholder approval for merger

Shareholders for Tesla and SolarCity approved a proposed merger of the companies on Thursday, giving Elon Musk the means to sell and install the solar panel roof tiles he unveiled at a recent event. And given the blessing of all shareholders, it’s harder to say Musk is ramming the deal through for his own benefit.

Tesla said the deal was “overwhelmingly” approved by 85 percent of unaffiliated shareholders.

“I think your faith will be rewarded”, he told shareholders.

He also says that this is also before the savings from the electricity bill due to the use of solar energy, and that “Electricity is just a bonus”.

Also in question is how President-elect Donald Trump’s policies may affect the solar industry.

Critics say money-losing SolarCity is not a good fit for Tesla, which faces the costly burden of ramping up its engineering and manufacturing capacity to produce the mass-market Model 3 electric vehicle in California and batteries in Nevada. Last month, Tesla reported its first quarterly profit in eight quarters.

The deal drew mixed recommendations by proxy advisory firms, with Institutional Shareholder Services giving its blessing and Glass Lewis rejecting it as a “thinly veiled bailout plan“.

To ease investor concerns, Musk recused himself from each company’s board vote on the acquisition proposal.

Tesla also expects SolarCity to actually contribute positively to its cash balance, adding over $500 million to Tesla’s balance sheet across the next three years.

The stock swap deal, worth around $2 billion closes a tumultuous year for Musk and Tesla.

“We’re trying to make an integrated product”, Mr Musk said during a meeting with Tesla shareholders in California on Thursday. He added that the glass used for the tiles weigh “a third, a quarter and sometimes even a fifth” of the existing ceramic and concrete roof solutions.

SolarCity has expanded dramatically in the last five years, but it relies heavily on borrowing money to finance its no-money-down residential solar installations.

One of the fastest product cars in the world is the McLaren P1, not in terms of its top speed, but more so how quick it takes to get from 0 to 60 miles per hour.

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