The $2 billion Tesla-SolarCity merger went into effect today, just four days after Tesla Motors’ shareholders gave their approval.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said SolarCity is now its wholly owned subsidiary. The all-stock deal converted each SolarCity share into 0.11 Tesla shares, and SolarCity is no longer listed in the NASDAQ market quotes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the merger would create synergies between Tesla’s lines of business, which market electric cars and electricity storage systems, and SolarCity’s line of electricity-generating solar panels.
The centerpiece of Tesla’s solar-panel strategy is expected to be integrated solar roof panels that could be installed like traditional roofs, for new construction as well as replacement roofing. Those panels could be marketed at Tesla stores starting next summer, alongside Tesla batteries and cars.
“I don’t want to 100 percent commit to this yet, but it’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account,” Musk told Tesla shareholders after Friday’s vote. “So the basic proposition would be, ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way generates electricity?’ Like, why would you get anything else?”
Skeptics note that both companies have been money-losers on an annual basis. They question whether there’ll be as much synergy as Tesla’s executives hope – at least in the near term.
“Whatever the synergies are down the road, it’s negative for current holders,” CNBC quoted Efraim Levy, an analyst at CFRA Research, as saying.
In the longer term, Tesla’s fate may well depend on how it follows through on deliveries of its Model 3 electric car, which has attracted more than 400,000 advance orders. Tesla says Model 3 production is due to begin in mid-2017, which is just about when the solar roofs are expected to make their debut.
Musk, whose net worth is estimated at $11 billion, had been the board chairman and principal shareholder of SolarCity. His cousins, Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, were SolarCity’s CEO and chief technology officer, respectively.
Musk is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, but the Tesla-SolarCity merger has no effect on that privately held space venture.