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Musk defends timing of Tesla’s $2.6 billion deal for SolarCity

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By Tom Hals and Sierra Jackson WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) -Elon Musk told a judge on Tuesday Tesla Inc had to buy SolarCity in 2016 because the failing solar panel company was essential to the electric vehicle maker’s long-term goal of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. The celebrity chief executive completed about eight hours of testimony over two days to defend himself against a lawsuit brought by union pension funds and asset managers who allege he strong-armed Tesla directors into buying the cash-strapped SolarCity for $2.6 billion. Musk at the time owned a 22% stake in bot…

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