- Elon Musk could face a $9.4 billion fine from an investor lawsuit over his role in Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity, Bloomberg reported.
- Plaintiffs argue the Tesla CEO leveraged his influence over the company's board to acquire SolarCity, which he directly profited from.
- But Musk's lawyers say that the acquisition was approved by 85% of shareholders.
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The suit, filed by several pension funds, revolves around whether Musk – who was SolarCity's chairman and biggest shareholder before the Tesla buyout – improperly meddled in the $2.6 billion deal.
Plaintiffs argue the Tesla CEO leveraged his influence over the company's board to acquire SolarCity, which Musk directly profited from.
Musk's lawyers say the acquisition was approved by 85% of shareholders, showing that "Musk did not and could not control the acquisition, the board, or Tesla stockholders," according to Bloomberg.
The $9 billion-plus figure comes from the number of Tesla stock Musk received from swapping in his SolarCity shares as part of the takeover. Initially, he got 2.4 million shares, which has now ballooned to 12 million due to stock splits. At Monday's opening price, 12 million shares in Tesla would be worth $9.56 billion.
In 2017, Tesla shareholders sued Musk and accused him of pushing Tesla to pay much more than was needed for the acquisition, alleging he was helping bail SolarCity out because it was founded and run by his cousins.