On Monday, Elon Musk took the stand to defend Tesla’s 2016 acquisition of SolarCity against shareholders that are seeking to recoup the $2.6 billion the company paid for it.
The lawsuit alleges that Musk strong-armed Tesla’s board of directors into purchasing SolarCity just as it was running out of cash. At the time, Musk owned 22% of SolarCity, which was founded by his cousins. He denies that the deal was a bailout.
“Since it was a stock-for-stock transaction and I owned almost exactly the same percentage of both, there was no financial gain,” he said, responding to questions from his attorney.
Shareholders requested the court to order the CEO to repay Tesla what it spent on the deal.
On cross-examination, shareholder attorney Randall Baron warned Musk that “we plan to spend a lot of time with you. It’s going to be a grind.”