Feeds

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

But our cars' declining battery life might

The next step in data security

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.