"What's becoming increasingly clear about Tesla's buyout of SolarCity is that it was a huge benefit to Musk and his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive. The three had $100 million of solar bonds issued by SolarCity, bonds that were recently bought back by Tesla. The three will have bonds transfered to Tesla under the same terms, unlike outside investors, but would you rather have a struggling SolarCity owe you $100 million, or market darling Tesla, who has easy access to equity markets?
The debt is on top of the 22.2 million SolarCity shares that Musk turned into Tesla shares and the 2.3 million shares the Rives converted. Had SolarCity gone bankrupt, as some major residential solar rivals have done, rather than being bought by Tesla, they would have lost hundreds of millions combined.
A bailout of their SolarCity stake to save Musk and the Rives hundreds of millions is worth considering when you see SolarCity's operations being shut down and manufacturing being turned over to Panasonic. At this point, it doesn't look like the SolarCity acquisition was a good deal at all. Musk could prove that wrong eventually, but so far, there's little indication he has much interest in growing solar under Tesla's umbrella."