Tesla and Elon Musk are currently being sued by shareholders over the SolarCity acquisition and Musk was deposed, which created some very funny moments.
In 2016, Tesla’s board and shareholders ended up approving a $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity with a strong majority and yet, several Tesla shareholders were not happy about the process and they ended up filing lawsuits against Tesla’s board and Musk specifically.
They raised concerns regarding conflicts of interest because of all the relations between Musk, his family and friends, and the two companies.
At the time, Musk said that the merger was a “no-brainer” due to the synergy between the solar installer and the automaker.
The CEO suggested things like selling SolarCity’s solar products through Tesla’s stores and the two companies were already partnering on the sale and installation of the Powerwall.
It has now been 3 years and the transition wasn’t as smooth as Musk made it look at the time.
The solar installation business has consistently been falling since Tesla took over and restructured it.
Only recently, Tesla started to focus on its solar business again and last quarter saw a good increase in solar installations.
Now they are still embroiled in the lawsuit and Musk was recently deposed. Plainsite posted the transcript in full.
Our take on it is pretty simple. Yes, there were conflicts of interest involved, but ultimately it’s a good thing for everyone that SolarCity and Tesla are now combined into one company.
Therefore, I don’t see what good is going to come out of this lawsuit.
If you think otherwise that’s fine and you can dig into it, but I did and didn’t find anything awful, but I did find a few funny moments that I thought I’d share while sharing the development from the lawsuit.
One of the funniest moments to me is when Elon is trying to explain a basic finance principle to the lawyer deposing him and the lawyer wants Elon to tell him how he knows about this basic principle.
More specifically, he wants Elon to tell him which expert told him about this simple principle:
Lawyer: And that is still, again, you have nothing to back up those views other than Mr. Musk says so?
Elon: Yeah, except like 200 years of public — how public markets work. Apart from that, no. By the way, also gravity goes down. I don’t know if you are aware of that. You never know. Should you ask an expert? Maybe you should ask an expert.
Elon got the lawyer a little frustrated at some point and he apparently even started yelling:
Lawyer: I’ll ask you the question, again. The question is, did you speak to any investment banker to say, can we do a public equity offering at SolarCity at a price that would not be prohibitive?
Elon: Can you talk in a civil tone —
Lawyer: Well, I —
Elon: — and not yell at me?
Lawyer: — have asked you this question three times, and each time I asked you the question you want to tell me about finance 101.
Elon: Yes. You’re —
Other Lawyer: Randy — Randy, don’t yell.
Elon: What’s the deal, dude?
Other Lawyer: Just ask —
Elon: Just chill
While they were hostile at times, they also had some other funny and jovial moments together.
For example, the lawyer brought an email from the bankers reviewing the SolarCity deal:
Lawyer: Well, again, the Evercore bankers note in the second e-mail from the bottom that they thought you were going to await the announcement of the solar roof, and the response was (as read): “It’s Elon’s world. We just live in it.” Again —
Elon: That is not true, and it’s Wayne’s world.
Lawyer: Party on, Garth.
Elon: Yes, exactly
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