Feeds

Tesla Motors: Elon Musk's divorce won't sink us

But our cars' declining battery life might

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Fresh troubles have beset famous battery-car maker Tesla Motors, as the acrimonious divorce of its CEO and principal backer Elon Musk may imperil its finances and imminent IPO. Furthermore, there are signs that the lustre of the company's flagship Roadster sportscar may be dimming.

Tesla_roadster_sport

The latest Roadster Sport. Looks sexy... but it's not a stayer

Tesla makes the $100k Roadster and last year secured a $465m federal loan for the purpose of building the planned four-seater, $50k Model S, intended for mass-market customers. The firm has skirted disaster in the past, and has undergone bitter boardroom and legal battles between Musk and co-founder Martin Eberhard. Musk has also engaged in a lawsuit against Henrik Fisker, designer of the Model S' original bodywork.

At the end of 2008, with the credit crunch at its height, a planned $100m financing round failed and Tesla almost went under; at that stage it didn't have enough money even to repay deposits put down by Roadster buyers, and had yet to fully sort out the technical difficulties encountered while building the Roadster.

The firm was rescued by a $40m injection from "existing investors", which was widely taken to mean Mr Musk himself, already the firm's primary financial backer.

Since then, with the arrival of the federal loan, a deal with Daimler and a $50m investment by Toyota, the company has seemed to get itself onto a sounder footing. Mr Musk now plans to take Tesla public.

Unfortunately, he and his wife Justine are now in the throes of a messy divorce in which she is seeking to be awarded 10 per cent of his Tesla holdings. Depending on the way the IPO and the divorce pan out, the resulting ownership of Tesla could violate the terms of the all-important federal loan.

Mr Musk has claimed in court filings related to the divorce that his personal cash resources are now exhausted, which - given the perceived reliance of Tesla on his backing - could give investors pause. It might also mean him having to sell Tesla shares to meet his divorce obligations, again potentially imperilling the vital Model S loan.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.