Moments ago, Tesla emailed CleanTechnica with information regarding the next step of Tesla’s SolarCity acquisition. There is not much to add regarding the announcement itself, so it will be pasted in full further down, but I think it’s useful to quickly summarize some of our previous articles on this topic to provide more context.
[Full disclosure: I own stock in both Tesla (TSLA) and SolarCity (SCTY) because I believe in their long-term vision, potential, and implementation. I also think they are stronger together, which I’ve expressed before.]
Note that numerous quotes from Tesla’s first press conference about the potential acquisition can be found here.
1. Starting with the responses of our readers — highly informed cleantech enthusiasts, many of whom work in a cleantech industry — a June survey found that 74% of respondents thought Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity was a smart move. (You can vote in our repeat survey here.)
2. In a CleanTechnica exclusive, top solar industry business innovator Jigar Shah — the founder of SunEdison who brought PPAs to the solar industry, stimulating stunning growth in the market, and who more recently co-founded Generate Capital — gave a strong endorsement for the acqusition and discussed what Tesla & SolarCity could offer together.
3. A July analysis found that SolarCity’s solar system costs were considerably lower than costs of top two competitors Sunrun (RUN) and Vivint Solar (VSLR) — $3.18/watt versus $4.11/watt and $3.34/watt, respectively.
4. Sunrun’s CEO & co-founder, Lynn Jurich, herself noted that Tesla was getting a sweet deal on the SolarCity acquisition. Of course, various motives may have been at play there, but I think the article — “It’s an Open Secret: Tesla’s Getting a Great Deal on SolarCity” — was a very honest take on a surprisingly controversial deal.
5. On August 1, I laid out my own take on the likely acquisition, noting that Tesla Solar was on the “doorstep to domination”.
6. On August 9, SolarCity Chairman (+ Tesla CEO) Elon Musk and SolarCity CTO Peter Rive discussed (briefly) their plans for a solar roof, not just rooftop solar. Elon later tweeted that the unveiling of this product would take place on October 28 in San Francisco.
8. SolarCity keeps expanding. In the past week or so, SolarCity expanded into South Carolina with a solar loan offering, not long after announcing expansion into Austin, Texas.
9. SolarCity also keeps raising money. SolarCity announced in September that it raised $305 million in financing from a private investment fund and a couple of weeks later announced that it raised $347 million from Citi, a major bank.
10. Tesla + SolarCity are ready to target Australia as a key market for an integrated, streamlined, simple, cost-effective solar+storage offering.
With that background out of the way, and another reminder to vote in our new survey about the acquisition, here’s the full announcement from Tesla about the upcoming vote:
Update on Tesla’s Combination with SolarCity
Today, Tesla and SolarCity took another significant step towards combining the companies. Each company set November 17, 2016 as the date of its shareholder meeting to vote on the acquisition and final proxy materials are now being mailed to each company’s shareholders.
If shareholders approve the transaction, a combined Tesla and SolarCity will be able to provide the first ever opportunity to generate, store and consume energy entirely sustainably, through a suite of integrated products that add aesthetics and function while reducing cost. By leveraging SolarCity’s installation network and Tesla’s global retail footprint, we can do this in a way that is seamless for our customers and that we expect will create significant value for our shareholders.
Over the next few weeks, Tesla will share important updates regarding our strategic plan for the combined company. On October 28th, Tesla and SolarCity will unveil a solar roof product, which along with Powerwall 2.0, will show the kinds of products that the combined company will be able to create. And on November 1st, Tesla will provide additional financial information relating to its plans for the combined company.
These events will create a clear picture of how a combined Tesla and SolarCity will make solar and storage as compelling as electric vehicles – an achievement that would advance our mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
If you are a Tesla shareholder, we encourage you to vote your shares as part of this process. Any Tesla shareholder who owned shares as of September 23, 2016 is eligible to vote and will receive mailed instructions on how to do so in the coming days. You can vote by phone, online or via mail any time on or before November 16, 2016, although we strongly encourage you to vote as soon as possible. The process for voting may differ depending on how you hold your shares, so please carefully review and follow the specific voting instructions on the proxy card that you receive.
If you have questions about voting your Tesla shares, please contact Innisfree, which is assisting Tesla in connection with the vote, toll-free at 877-456-3463. Shareholders outside the United States may call + 1 412-232-3651.
Thank you to all of our shareholders for your support over the years. The Tesla board and management hope that you will join us in supporting the combination of Tesla and SolarCity.