Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Musk begins defence of $2.6-billion lawsuit

Perhaps being the boss of the world’s #1 electric vehicle manufacturer is not all that it’s cracked up to be. “I rather hate it, and I would much prefer to spend my time on design and engineering,” Musk told a U.S. court. The Tesla founder was speaking at the start of a trial in which he is accused of pressuring the firm’s board members into a $2.6-billion deal to buy a solar panel firm. Shareholders claim the carmaker’s money was wasted on buying SolarCity, which, they say, was running out of money, the BBC reports. At the time of the deal, Musk owned a 22% stake in both Tesla and the solar panel company, which was founded by his cousins. “Since it was a stock-for-stock transaction, and I owned almost exactly the same percentage of both, there was no financial gain,” Musk said. He also denied exerting pressure on board members, saying that the deal was part of a “master plan” to create affordable vehicles with green power supplies. Shareholders bringing the case against Musk have asked the court that he repay Tesla the $2.6 billion in full. That would be one of the largest ever judgements against an individual. The trial is expected to last about two weeks. Randall Baron, the attorney for the shareholders, warned the entrepreneur that the case being heard in Delaware Chancery Court was “going to be a grind.” Gesturing to a thick folder of documents prepared by Baron, Musk replied: “I can tell by the binder.”

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