Tesla Investors Want Musk Repay $13B For SolarCity Deal

Tesla shareholders urged a judge on Tuesday, January 18, to find Elon Musk coerced the company’s board into a 2016 deal for SolarCity and asked that the chief executive be ordered to pay the electric vehicle company one of the largest judgments ever of US$13 billion.

“This case has always been about whether the acquisition of SolarCity was a rescue from financial distress, a bailout, orchestrated by Elon Musk,” Randy Baron, an attorney for shareholders, told the Zoom hearing, reported Reuters.

The closing arguments recounted key findings from a 10-day trial in July when Musk spent two days on the stand defending the deal.

The lawsuit by union pension funds and asset managers alleges that Musk strong-armed the Tesla board into approving the deal for the cash-strapped SolarCity, in which Musk was the top shareholder.

Musk has countered that the deal was part of a decade-old master plan to create a vertically integrated company that would transform energy generation and consumption with SolarCity’s roof panels and Tesla’s cars and batteries.

Evan Chesler, one of the lawyers representing Musk, told the hearing that the deal was not a bailout and SolarCity was far from insolvent and its finances resembled many high-growth tech companies.

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