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Tesla, SolarCity strike $2.6 billion merger deal

Tesla and Gigafactory 1
A Tesla electric car is parked on an overlook with a view of Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 facility in Nevada. (Credit: Tesla Motors)

The boards of directors for Tesla and SolarCity, two companies that have billionaire Elon Musk as a top executive, have given the green light for a $2.6 billion merger.

The two companies said the combination would create “the world’s only vertically integrated sustainable energy company,” bringing together Tesla’s electric car line and its home battery offerings with SolarCity’s power-generating business.

“By joining forces, we can operate more efficiently and fully integrate our products, while providing customers with an aesthetically beautiful and simple one-stop solar + storage experience: one installation, one service contract, one phone app,”Tesla and SolarCity said in a joint press release.

The approvals came after a review of Tesla’s merger proposal, the terms of which were laid out publicly last month. Musk helped orchestrate the deal, but he stayed out of the review or the board vote to head off conflict-of-interest concerns. He serves as the CEO of Tesla, and he’s the chairman of SolarCity as well as the biggest shareholder of both companies.

In a tweet, Musk emphasized that his privately held space venture, SpaceX, does not figure in the deal and would never merge with Tesla.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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