Today Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla and SolarCity shareholders have approved the merger between the two companies, with 85% of unaffiliated Tesla shareholders voting in favor. This was the key hurdle before the acquisition could go through.
This comes despite strong concerns by the investment community regarding the condition of SolarCity, which lost over $200 million in each of the last two quarters, and whose stock value plummeted last winter.
However, like another important vote last week, the power of personality seems to have overcome these concerns. “This whole deal is driven by Elon Musk and his personality, and his vision of where he is taking Tesla, and I think shareholders bought into it,” Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu told pv magazine.
In terms of what we can expect from the combined company, SolarCity’s rooftop solar offerings will be further integrated with energy storage and promoted to Tesla customers (and vice-versa).
More significantly it means that plans for the new Tesla/SolarCity Solar Roof will go through, and Panasonic will be brought in to run the Buffalo gigafactory, which will likely end up producing Panasonic heterojunction silicon PV modules, and not Silevo technology as originally planned.
It is unclear if shareholder lawsuits have all been resolved, however analysts do not expect these to stop the deal.
However, there are concerns about execution of Elon Musk’s ambitious plans. Musk said at the shareholder event today that volume production of the new Solar Roof product will begin next summer, at a cost at or below that of a normal roof.
“How they are going to actually vertically integrate in itself is a concern, notes Mercom Capital’s Prabhu. “We have to watch how they execute and hold them accountable in the coming years.”