Elon Musk, Rive brothers buy up SolarCity bond offering


In the latest sign of trouble at the largest U.S. distributed solar installer, late yesterday SolarCity revealed through regulatory filings that Chairman Elon Musk, CEO Lyndon Rive, and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive have purchased $100 million of the company’s $124 million bond offering.

The offering was announced late last week. It is an unusual offering in that most U.S. solar companies do not issue bonds, and also carried a relatively high interest rate at 6.5%, and a short term, only 18 months.

Musk purchased $65 million worth of bonds, and the Rive brothers each bought $17.5 million.

Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu says that this move indicates a lack of interest in the offering, despite its favorable terms. “The offering is still open, and the founders have lapped up $100 million,” Prabhu told pv magazine. “Elon Musk and his family seem to be the only ones interested in these bonds.”

The bond issue followed news last week that SolarCity would lay off an unspecified number of workers and reduce the salaries of its founders to $1 annually in the wake of reduced guidance for 2016.

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