Tesla Says CEO’s Divorce Won’t Endanger U.S. Battery-Car Loans

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk pauses during an interview in Detroit. Close

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk pauses during an interview in Detroit.

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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk pauses during an interview in Detroit.

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the California maker of battery-powered cars, said divorce proceedings involving main investor and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk won’t threaten its financing to make electric vehicles.

Under terms of $465 million in low-interest federal loans Tesla got last year, Musk, 38, and “certain of his affiliates” must retain 65 percent of their capital stock in the company for a year after completing the Model S sedan project that goes into production in 2012, Tesla said today in a filing.

Justine Musk, the CEO’s former wife, said last month in a blog post she’s seeking a settlement that includes 10 percent of his Tesla shares.

Elon Musk, who invested more than $70 million in the Palo Alto, California-based company, maintains his holdings in a trust, and a post-nuptial agreement indicates those holdings “shall remain solely his property,” Tesla said.

Tesla also said it doesn’t expect Musk will have to liquidate a significant percentage of his holdings to settle the divorce proceedings.

Tesla, which filed in January to raise at least $100 million in an initial public offering, plans to spend $42 million to buy a plant in Fremont, California, that was previously a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and the former General Motors Corp., to build the Model S.

Toyota also is investing $50 million in Tesla and the companies said they’ll work together to develop electric cars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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