A Delaware court docket sided with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a bitter authorized battle over whether or not he acted in opposition to the very best curiosity of different shareholders when he steered the electrical automotive maker right into a $2.6-billion acquisition of a photo voltaic panel maker based by two of his cousins.
The 132-page determination issued Wednesday by Delaware Chancery Court docket Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights vindicated Musk, who appeared on the witness stand final summer time throughout two days of typically combative testimony. Musk defended his causes for considering it was a good suggestion for Tesla to purchase SolarCity in November 2016, at the same time as some analysts and a few stockholders questioned the deal’s knowledge.
Musk determined to battle the lawsuit even after different administrators on Tesla’s board on the time of the deal reached a $60-million settlement with out an admission of fault. Had the Delaware court docket dominated in opposition to him, Musk might have been ordered to pay $2 billion or extra on the identical time he’s making an attempt shut a $44-billion acquisition of Twitter. Musk has pledged to cowl $21 billion of the worth within the Twitter deal, which was struck earlier this week.
The long-running shareholder lawsuit alleged that Musk breached his fiduciary lawsuit by pursuing the SolarCity deal regardless of obtrusive conflicts of curiosity. Musk was SolarCity’s largest shareholder on the time Tesla struck the deal.
However Slights dominated the acquisition was “fully honest,” even whereas conceding that “Elon was extra concerned within the course of than a conflicted fiduciary ought to be.”
Whereas shareholders had argued Musk grossly misrepresented the worth of SolarCity’s know-how for Tesla, Slights disagreed. Pointing to proof displaying Tesla has been capable of cross-sell photo voltaic and residential battery storage merchandise to shoppers who additionally purchased Tesla automobiles, “the preponderance of the proof means that the Acquisition was and is synergistic,” the choose wrote.
Tesla’s inventory value has elevated by 22-fold because the SolarCity buy was accomplished, creating greater than $850 billion in shareholder wealth. That apparently wasn’t misplaced on Slights, who noticed that “Tesla’s worth has massively elevated following the acquisition.”