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Tesla and SolarCity set Nov. 17 date for shareholder votes on merger

Tesla Motors and SolarCity shareholders will vote on Nov. 17 to determine the fate of the proposed merger between the electric vehicle maker and the solar energy systems installer.

The vote is a key step in determining whether the proposed merger will receive the approvals it needs from shareholders at both companies.

"Over the next few weeks, Tesla will share important updates regarding our strategic plan for the combined company,"Tesla, in a blog post on Wednesday.

The companies plan on Oct. 28 to unveil a new solar roofing product that will combine SolarCity's solar panels, made at its soon-to-open factory in Buffalo, with a second-generation Powerwall 2.0 battery made by Tesla.

The solar roofing product "will show the kinds of products that the combined company will be able to create," Tesla said in the post.

Tesla also said it plans to provide "additional financial information relating to its plans for the combined company" on Nov. 1.

"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," Tesla said in the blog.

Tesla also is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 26.

The proposed merger has spurred concerns among some investors and analysts because of the close ties between the two companies, with Elon Musk being the biggest shareholder in both firms and close connections between some members of each company's board of directors.

Some analysts and investors also have raised concerns about the steady losses and growing debt levels at SolarCity, which needs to constantly raise new money from investors to fund its solar installations. Shareholders have several multiple lawsuits aiming to block the merger, arguing that Tesla's board breached its fiduciary responsibilities.

Lawyers for the shareholders said Tuesday they were not seeking expedited court proceedings that could have tried to prevent the shareholder votes from taking place, according to a regulatory filing by Tesla.

While Musk has called the merger a "no-brainer" that will create a renewable energy powerhouse, some investors have viewed the deal as a bailout for cash-strapped and debt-laden SolarCity.

Under the deal, SolarCity shareholders will receive 0.11 share of Tesla for each SolarCity share they own. Based on Tesla's closing share price on Tuesday of $200.10, each SolarCity is worth $22.10 per share. The value of the deal, now worth $2.2 billion, fluctuates with changes in Tesla's share price.

 

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