This afternoon (Nov. 17) Tesla Motor’s shareholders approved the $2.6 billion purchase of SolarCity, with 85 percent of them voting in favor of the deal. While many assumed the acquisition—which brings two companies whose CEOs are cousins, together—would be approved, it still took months to accomplish.
Thus far Tesla has issued a short blog post in regards to the vote: “Tesla’s shareholders have overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of SolarCity. 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,” the company said. “We would like to thank our shareholders for continuing to support our vision for the future. We look forward to showing the world what Tesla and SolarCity can achieve together.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk already was Chairman of the Board at SolarCity, which is run by his cousin Lyndon Rive. As such, he abstained from voting on the deal, which he helped create.
Tesla began dabbling its fingers in the residential energy sector when introduced its Powerwall home energy storage system in 2015. That system uses the same batteries that its cars do and it allows homes and businesses with solar roofs to store energy to use when the electric grid goes down or to help reduce customers’ electric bills by helping users avoid time-of-use charges or peak charges.
When it announced the plans for the acquisition Tesla said it would help the company become an energy company based on sustainability rather than just an electric vehicle company. As the acquisition awaited board approval, Musk began working more closely with SolarCity.
During SolarCity’s last earnings call Musk sat in and revealed that SolarCity was developing a new kind of photovoltaic rooftop. It was a teaser for an event at the end of October when he revealed the new products, a series of different types of rooftop tiles that hide high-efficiency solar cells.
Now that the shareholders approved the buyout it’s likely the companies will move forward quickly. When Musk announced the acquisition plans, he shared his vision of what the new Tesla could provide: ”You’d walk into the Tesla store and say: ‘I’d like a great solar solution with a battery and an electric car.’ And in 5 minutes you’re done. It’s completely painless, seamless, easy and that’s what the customer wants.”Tweet