Larry Ellison discloses $1bn stake in Tesla
Oracle founder recently joined board of car manufacturer founded by Elon Musk
Larry Ellison disclosed a more than $1bn stake in Tesla less than a fortnight after the billionaire Oracle founder was appointed to the board of the electric car maker. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA
Mr Ellison, who said last October that Tesla was his second-largest investment, was revealed to hold three million shares in the car company, according to a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A close friend of Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk, Mr Ellison was appointed to the board of the car maker in late December as part of a settlement with the SEC designed to improve independent oversight at the company.
Mr Musk agreed in September to appoint a new chairman and two independent board members following an SEC lawsuit alleging he misled investors with a series of controversial tweets about taking Tesla private at a price of $420 a share.
Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, head of global human resources at Walgreens Boots Alliance, was also appointed to the Tesla board effective on December 27th. Robyn Denholm, the former chief operations officer at Australian telecommunications company Telstra, was named chair of Tesla in November.
During an analyst meeting in October, Mr Ellison said Tesla was his second-largest investment, without giving further detail, and described himself as a “close friend” of Mr Musk. He had been critical of the media’s treatment towards Mr Musk, who last year also courted controversy by smoking marijuana during a live internet radio show and for comments aimed at a British diver during the Thailand cave rescue.
Last week, Tesla’s latest sales figures for the final three months of 2018 fell short of analysts’ forecasts and the company also announced a $2,000 price cut to its vehicles in the US. That spooked investors, who sent the company’s share price down sharply, partially reversing some of its strong run in the back part of last year despite the broader stock market malaise.
Tesla shares were up 1.8 per cent in pre-market trading on Tuesday at $341.03, and having gained 5.4 per cent on Monday, leaving it higher by two-thirds of 1 per cent for 2019.
The company’s share price gained 6.9 per cent in 2018 in a rocky year for tech stocks. Since Wall Street’s October sell-off, Tesla emerged as one of the more resilient of major and popular tech companies tracked by the NYSE Fang Plus index, and was the last of this group to fall into a bear market, although it has since recovered ground from there. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019