Tesla Motors and SolarCity shareholders are scheduled to vote today on whether the two Silicon Valley-based companies should merge to create a single vertically integrated sustainable energy company.
Update: It’s official, Tesla will merge with SolarCity
The two companies have said that SolarCity would add more than $500 million in cash to Tesla’s balance sheet over three years, while contributing over $1 billion to next year’s revenue.
SolarCity investors are on deck to decide on the deal during a shareholder meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. today, followed by a Tesla shareholder vote at 1 p.m. from Fremont, Calif.
A Live Webcast of the ‘Special Shareholder Meeting Regarding Tesla’s Proposed Acquisition of SolarCity’ will be made available beginning at 1 p.m. PST (9 p.m. UTC). Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Teslarati for behind the scenes coverage.
It is not an exaggeration to say that today will be critical to Elon Musk achieving his overarching goal of leading the world to a fossil fuel free future. The combination of Tesla Motors and SolarCity will create one company that manufactures, distributes, and markets all the components necessary for a zero emissions society under one common brand.
Musk has said in the past that the two companies probably should have been one entity from the beginning, but even he could not have predicted that either company would have succeeded in the early stages.
Bringing a premium electric car to market was a considerable gamble at first, and indeed it is now known there was at least one period during which Musk toyed with the idea of selling Tesla Motors to Google because its economic future looked bleak. Better to have another company do the heavy lifting than to see the dream wither completely.
Likewise, SolarCity began with little more than a concept. Rooftop solar was in its infancy. Many predicted the cost of solar panels was going to decline rapidly but no one knew for sure when or by how much. Early pioneers in solar energy were going bankrupt at an alarming rate.
Today, both Tesla and SolarCity have survived the early fires to forge successful businesses that are leaders in their respective fields. Together, the two companies have undertaken several joint ventures, but as Elon said during the Q3 earnings call, he dislikes joint ventures because they are too complicated and complex. The quest for synergy is hampered by the requirement to get approvals from two separate supervisory authorities, one at Tesla and another at SolarCity.
The merger has the endorsement of Institutional Shareholder Services, an independent financial review organization whose advice is highly regarded by mutual fund managers, pension fund officials, and other large investor groups. The endorsement could be what convinces shareholders of both companies to approve the merger.
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