Musknado - Tesla Tumbles After Offering To Acquire SolarCity

Tyler Durden's picture

Desperate, or Distracted? Elon Musk's Tesla has offered to acquire Elon Musk's cousin's SolarCity for 0.122 to 0.133 Tesla shares. Tesla shares are tumbling on the news, as perhaps they read the five reasons why SolarCity pain is only just beginning? As Herb Greenberg asked, "is this even legal?"

From Tesla's blog,

Tesla’s mission has always been tied to sustainability. We seek to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation by offering increasingly affordable electric vehicles. And in March 2015, we launched Tesla Energy, which through the Powerwall and Powerpack allow homeowners, business owners and utilities to benefit from renewable energy storage.

It’s now time to complete the picture. Tesla customers can drive clean cars and they can use our battery packs to help consume energy more efficiently, but they still need access to the most sustainable energy source that’s available: the sun.

The SolarCity team has built its company into the clear solar industry leader in the residential, commercial and industrial markets, with significant scale and growing customer penetration. They have made it easy for customers to switch to clean energy while still providing the best customer experience. We’ve seen this all firsthand through our partnership with SolarCity on a variety of use cases, including those where SolarCity uses Tesla battery packs as part of its solar projects.

So, we’re excited to announce that Tesla today has made an offer to acquire SolarCity. A copy of Tesla’s offer is provided below.

If completed, we believe that a combination of Tesla and SolarCity would provide significant benefits to our shareholders, customers and employees:

  • We would be the world’s only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products to our customers. This would start with the car that you drive and the energy that you use to charge it, and would extend to how everything else in your home or business is powered. With your Model S, Model X, or Model 3, your solar panel system, and your Powerwall all in place, you would be able to deploy and consume energy in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, lowering your costs and minimizing your dependence on fossil fuels and the grid.
  • We would be able to expand our addressable market further than either company could do separately. Because of the shared ideals of the companies and our customers, those who are interested in buying Tesla vehicles or Powerwalls are naturally interested in going solar, and the reverse is true as well. When brought together by the high foot traffic that is drawn to Tesla’s stores, everyone should benefit.
  • We would be able to maximize and build on the core competencies of each company. Tesla’s experience in design, engineering, and manufacturing should help continue to advance solar panel technology, including by making solar panels add to the look of your home. Similarly, SolarCity’s wide network of sales and distribution channels and expertise in offering customer-friendly financing products would significantly benefit Tesla and its customers.
  • We would be able to provide the best possible installation service for all of our clean energy products. SolarCity is the best at installing solar panel systems, and that expertise translates seamlessly to the installation of Powerwalls and charging systems for Tesla vehicles.
  • Culturally, this is a great fit. Both companies are driven by a mission of sustainability, innovation, and overcoming any challenges that stand in the way of progress.

Today’s offer to acquire SolarCity is only the first step toward a successful combination of Tesla and SolarCity. We will provide a further update if and when an agreement is reached.

*  *  *

Some details...


Which puts the offer around a 26% premium (before the collapse in TSLA afterhours)..


But TSLA is tumbling after hours... to 3 month lows...


And of course - verge of bankruptcy SCTY is jumping...


Funnily enough - TSLA has lost more than the market cap of SCTY in after-hours trading.

As @WallStCynic noted, SCTY was going bankrupt this year, with a $700 million cash burn/qtr. TSLA now assumes that cash outflow. Wow. This is a desperate move.

And a perfectly timed report from Goldman coming out after today's close, warns of covenant risks at SCTY

Almost all companies in our solar coverage carry some amount of debt that subjects them to financial covenants. Our analysis suggests that GLBL may breach covenants in mid-2016, potentially losing access to the undrawn revolver, while investor feedback suggests that SCTY's covenants are a particular point of focus in the very near term. However, we think the company will be able to remain compliant in 2Q16 by a small margin, with headroom improving beyond this point. In this report, we update estimates for SCTY and CAFD.


Solar is financing-intensive and the balance sheet matters


The global solar industry has raised c.$200bn of cumulative debt financing since 2010, while at the same time operating cash flow within our coverage has declined by $3bn. Not surprisingly, indebtedness has increased and aggregate interest coverage is now negative vs. 2X in 2011. Through 2017 we expect leverage to expand further to fund growth, as we model the majority of coverage to increase gross debt by 50%+ vs. current levels.

The full breakdown of SolarCity's covenants, which as Goldman hints would have been dangerously close to getting breached absent some dramatic rescue:

Goldman adds:

SolarCity’s revolver, which matures in 2017, has several financial covenants, including (1) a minimum interest coverage ratio of 1.5x and (2) minimum liquidity of $50mn. While we do not expect SolarCity to trip either of these covenants, we believe the interest coverage could approach the minimum covenant in F2Q16 – and be a point of emphasis for investors ahead of the earnings call in July/August – before exceeding the required minimum ratio by a comfortable margin in future quarters. We note that SolarCity also has a term loan that includes financial covenants (e.g., interest coverage), but the loan is considered nonrecourse and project-level disclosures have not been made public; thus we do not include this debt in our analysis.

Updating estimates: We refresh our quarterly estimates for SolarCity, although our annual estimates and $23, 12-month, DCF-based price target are unchanged. Our changes relate to individual pieces of debt cost, which we’ve made to more accurately reflect the current cost of borrowing. Key risks include volume growth, net metering, competition, and interest rates.

So looks like Musk is bailing himself out his SCTY equity (where he is the largest shareholder) with richly priced TSLA stock (of which he is also the largest shareholder).

We look forward to the legal shenanigans here - there must be a ton of related party transactional issues, with Musk effectively tied into both companies beyond extrication since the CEO of SolarCity is Elon Musk's cousin. Shenanigans such as this one, revealed in SCTY's recent 10Q, in which Musk, via SpaceX, was purchasing SolarCity junk bonds:

In March 2015, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, purchased $90.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 2.00% Solar Bonds due in March 2016. In June 2015, SpaceX purchased an additional $75.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 2.00% Solar Bonds due in June 2016. In March 2016, $90.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the Solar Bonds held by SpaceX matured, and the proceeds were reinvested by SpaceX in $90.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.40% Solar Bonds due in March 2017. SpaceX is considered a related party, the Company has also issued Solar Bonds to other related parties and such Solar Bonds are separately presented on the consolidated balance sheets (see Note 11, Related Party Transactions).

Finally, we wonder if 22nd Century investors will be warned of "Musk Schemes"?

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maskone909's picture

Buy to open 10k calls $sqqq at strike bitchez.
It will be interesting to see what the (-) difference is between these two companies market caps at the EOD trading tomorrow. Straight up capital destruction. For the record tho the p90d is pretty badass.

johngaltfla's picture

Obvioiusly the Islamist-In-Chief has promised a tax break to Tesla for taking this dog off the Dept of Energy's hands. So fellow taxpayers, enjoy the assrape.

FreezeThese's picture
FreezeThese (not verified) johngaltfla Jun 21, 2016 4:42 PM

Brake probes got Elon nervy

johngaltfla's picture

Not any more. That probe has been delayed I'll wager until 2018.

jcaz's picture

One Govt-subsidised company buying another-  of course it's legal....  Even Socialist.....

Musk changes his title to "Car Czar" in 3..2...1...

OrangeJews's picture
OrangeJews (not verified) jcaz Jun 21, 2016 5:16 PM

So... SpaceX is next?

Bay Area Guy's picture

SpaceX will buy the combined Tesla/Solar City.

Arnold's picture



It would be a perfect place to spin off the Tesla Wall battery pack disaster.

Kudos for innovation though, Tucker.

Arnold's picture

Gotta love the "Clinton slow roll" dealio.

Prevents clean Hangings.

IronForge's picture

The Winner is the Volt - best of both worlds.


Chauncey Gardener's picture

What could possibly go wrong?

ShrNfr's picture

Unfortunately repairing the suspension on Musk would imply using some rope and a trap.

Bloppy's picture

Put Elon in a cell next to Bernie Madoff

teslaberry's picture

what could be better than a ponzi merger? or.....a monzi?

nakki's picture

Family Ponzis come first.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) nakki Jun 21, 2016 5:03 PM

Musk needs an excuse lined up for win that bullshit 500,000 cars produced a year by 2018 because a big old failure.  They can't even pump out 50,000 cars a year right now without massive recalls.  Good luck to him, he's going from "The Next Steve Jobs" to "The Next Enron" very quickly, smartest guy in the room...

Anopheles's picture

The next Delorean or Bricklin

robnume's picture

Will somebody please take away this guy's US Gov't. credit card? I am, as a taxpayer, sick to death of this fuckin' 'tard. Let him use his own ill gotten gains to acquire a place for himself and his ilk on another planet, far, far away. Musk is certainly my idea of a "useless eater." Eater of my tax dollars.

Scuba Steve's picture

right there with Fuckerberg.

HelloSpencer's picture

Is this what they call concentration risk?

On the bright side SCTY is up almost 20% in after-hour trading.


ArkansasAngie's picture


Whoa Nelly

Is the a black swan call?

Scuba Steve's picture

Yeah, thats what I was thinking.

Sure a strange move, unless ....


Randolph: "God help us ...."

Mortimer: "Turn those machines back on ... Turn those machines back onnnnnnnn ....."


adr's picture

Solar City doesn't even make solar cells.

I guess you lease your Tesla and lease some solar panels you'll pay double for and never recoup your initial investment.

Musk needs to die in a flaming wreck in his Model X. Maybe he can crash into a Hyperloop pylon.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Jun 21, 2016 4:58 PM

Well SolarCity is trading at 11x Forward revenue and "Not Meaningful" for earnings since they don't have positive earnings and Tesla trades at 4x Forward revenue so I think the way the "Smart Money" would value this is to add both forward revenue multiples together and multiply it by 2x for synergies.  Wow this transaction looks like a steal! :/

BapZander's picture

I will buy my debt with your debt - thanks for playing!

moonmac's picture

My expensive solar rock lights barely light up after all day in the sun. How in the heck will the sun power an automobile? I bought a hat at Epcot Center in 1986 with a solar panel and a fan. The tech hasn't improved much since then.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) moonmac Jun 21, 2016 5:05 PM

There will be retractable floor panels so that you can power your car with your feet like the Flintstones at night and on cloudy days

bullet's picture

Musknado... thanks Tyler's for bringing some humor to this total shitshow...

Paul John Smith's picture

Mark my words:

If a just government returns to this land, then Elon Musk will end up in jail.

Paul John Smith's picture

Elon Musk is a crony piece of shit masquerading as "John Galt".

(what a fucking joke)

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Musk glad = when Teslas sell

Musk gland = when Teslas burn

Musknado = when stock crashes

Seasmoke's picture

After reading this fucking scam , the name of a Ponzi should be changed to Musk !!!!

northern vigor's picture

This musk doesn't pass the smell test.

venturen's picture

I am thinking a reverse merger with Spacex domiciled on tax haven Mars!

FrankieGoesToHollywood's picture

Great move by Elon.  Corruption, insider trading, gov subsidy, what else is needed to complete the picture?  Complete fleecing of the investors to line his own pocket.  100% consistent with wall street.  The only possible difference is some poeople may have been under the naive impression Tesla and Solar city were somehow by trying to build a better world with all that green BS. Elon his palying his hand beautifully.

803Mastiff's picture

Sounds like Elon has been channeling the Ken Lay down in Equidor for advise.

FrankieGoesToHollywood's picture

Except Elon has the blessing of Green party Dems.  Big differnce in the amount of $hit he can get away with.

Arnold's picture
Arnold Looney Jun 21, 2016 8:24 AM



Some one made a great observation last night.


The Green Party Nomination is available a week after the DNC convention.

On the Ballot in all 57 states.

Tell me that the couple of rational stiffs in that party wouldn't love Trump or Bernie as a headliner going into November.


Repost to save a net negitive .0005 watts.

Arnold's picture

Arnold metastar Jun 21, 2016 9:09 AM

"The Democratic Party convention will be held July 25–28, 2016. The Green Party convention will (likely) be held August 4-7, 2016. Let’s assume that Sanders does not win the Democratic nomination that weekend. It is..."

earleflorida's picture

so paul allen and jeff bezos will just watch and laugh as the leveraged junkie od's

classic greed

Bay Area Guy's picture

Why do I have a feeling that Elon sold all or most of his TSLA shares, but stocked up on SCTY shares?

Jersey_Mountaineer's picture

Gee.  Just this past weekend SolarCity was at the mall pushing FREE SOLAR PANELS to any passerby.  Of course, the State of New Jersey is assuming the responsibility for what otherwise would contribute to SolarCity's -162% operating margin.


Shoot me.

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

SolarCity is A SCAM.

Is anyone still falling for it?  They utilize your roof to make money and then take all the government incentives for themselves.  They can even charge you for producing "too much" power, and of course they also take all the excess that the utility companies pay to producers.

If you want solar (I do) buy it outright and upfront.  Don't let them lease your roof only for you to take on the weight and increased risk of leakage and roof deterioration with no benefit to you.  Fuck Solar City.  Seriously, what a bullshit company.

Jersey_Mountaineer's picture

Shows just how dumb Musk is. Even when keeping all of the incentives and excess production, they STILL can't come within a few billion of breaking even.

WillyGroper's picture

no worries...he's got plenty of you money to thro around.