Oracle's Ellison reveals US$1B stake in Tesla

The billionaire 74 indirectly owns 3 million Tesla shares

The billionaire 74 indirectly owns 3 million Tesla shares

Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison has acquired a $1 billion stake in Tesla Inc., making him the carmaker's second-biggest individual investor after his close friend Elon Musk.

It's a particularly notable amount of money considering Ellison, who has described himself as a close friend of CEO Elon Musk, was brought on as an independent director at Tesla last month as part of the company's moves to placate the SEC in the wake of Elon Musk's tweets claiming that he meant to take the carmaker private at $420 per share and that he had "funding secured" for such a move, which in turn led to the company being sued by the regulatory commission for allegedly misleading investors.

Ellison's revelation comes at a hard time for Tesla. Tesla announced Ellison's appointment to the board in December. At current market prices, Ellison's stake is likely somewhere near 3 million shares of the EV automaker. It's now one of the most valuable auto companies in the world, turning out more than 4,700 Model 3s each week after struggling a year ago to get just a few hundred off assembly lines. SEC in regards to his fraud case stemming from a wild round of tweets the CEO sent out musing on the possibility of taking Tesla private at $420 a share.

The regulator said this and other claims by Musk were false and misleading and affected Tesla's stock. Both he and the company agreed to pay $20 million penalties and added Ellison and human resources expert Kathleen Wilson-Thompson as directors.

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Ellison is the world's ninth-richest person with a net worth of $51.4 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That would put Musk's total stake in the company at a value of roughly $11.3 billion.

Tesla closed today $335 per share and while there was a small spike after the news broke, shares traded to just about even on the day.

Ellison said Tesla was his second-largest investment in October without being more specific. The board member has been a close friend and ardent defender of Musk and Tesla in the wake of criticism.

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