Tesla says not affected by CEO's divorce dispute

In SEC filing, electric carmaker says it doesn't expect CEO Elon Musk's contentious divorce to affect company's highly anticipated IPO plans.

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors said on Wednesday it does not expect the contentious divorce of its chief executive, Elon Musk, to affect its plans to list its shares and does not rely on him to provide further funding.

The California start-up, in a filing with U.S. securities regulators, sought to distance itself from a divorce dispute between Musk and his estranged wife that has cast a shadow over what had been one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year .

Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk Tesla Motors

"We do not believe that Mr. Musk's personal financial situation has any impact on us," the company said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Musk's estranged wife, Justine Musk, is seeking 10 percent of her husband's stake in the carmaker in a contentious divorce case.

Musk has also said in court documents relating to the divorce that he was out of cash and lived off loans from friends.

The case could complicate plans by Musk to take Tesla public and retain $465 million of U.S. Department of Energy funding to launch a mass-market electric car named Model S as the government loan could be in default if Musk does not hold enough of the stock.

A Tesla spokesman said he could not comment beyond the SEC filing.

In the amended filing, Tesla said that while Musk has provided "significant" funding for the company in the past, it has not received any money from the CEO in the past year.

"We have not received any funding from Mr. Musk for the past 12 months and are no longer dependent on the financial resources of Mr. Musk to fund our expected growth given the funds available under DOE loan facility and the expected proceeds of this offering," it said in the filing.

Tesla added that it also does not expect the divorce proceeding to result in any large reduction of the company shares he owns.

"We also do not believe that Mr. Musk would have to liquidate a significant percentage of his holdings in order to satisfy any settlement reached in connection with such proceedings," according to the filing. Musk is the co-founder and largest shareholder of the electric car start-up, with more than 81 million shares.

Tesla said the CEO's shares of its capital stock are held directly by his personal trust.

In a blog post last month jokingly titled "Golddigger," Musk's estranged wife, an author of supernatural thrillers, laid out what she called "the extent of my golddigging." Apart from the Tesla stock, she wants 5 percent of his stake in space exploration company SpaceX, alimony and support for their five children.

Elon Musk claims he is cash poor and has to get "emergency loans from personal friends," according to court documents posted on technology blog VentureBeat Web site.

"About four months ago, I ran out of cash," he said in the document, which was filed on February 24. "These loans are the exclusive source of cash that I have."

 

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