SolarCity, Tesla Ties Spurring Questions on Board’s Independence

There’s only one member of SolarCity Corp.’s board without ties to Tesla Motors Inc. A few directors are related by blood, others are linked through longstanding personal and professional relationships and some have significant investments in both companies. As the solar company’s eight-member board evaluates Tesla’s proposed $2.86 billion acquisition, these connections may create potential conflicts of interest, according to analysts and experts in governance issues. These links mean it will be difficult for the board to evaluate the offer in an impartial manner, said Patrick Jobin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Any special committee they put together is going to have issues with ties to the other side,” Jobin said in an interview Friday. “Even the ones that recused themselves have the ability to influence the outcome.”

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