Tesla gained investor backing during second quarter

August 15, 2016 1:15 PM EDT

A SolarCity vehicle is seen on the road in San Diego, California, U.S. June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake


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By Ross Kerber

BOSTON (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) gained backing from Fidelity Investments and from hedge funds during the second quarter, recent securities filings show, a period when the electric car company made a buyout offer for SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ: SCTY).

Fidelity, Tesla's largest outside investor, increased its stake in the carmaker by 25 percent to 20.36 million shares as of June 30, according to filings analyzed by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Tesla shares were added to other portfolios during the second quarter, including those of hedge funds Alyeska Investment Group, which took a new 100,000 share position, and Blue Ridge Capital, which took a new 191,237 share position.

Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co of New York boosted its stake in Tesla by 24 percent to 808,661 shares.

Solar panel installer SolarCity this month accepted a $2.6 billion offer from Tesla, a deal first announced on June 21 and a step in founder Elon Musk's plan to create a carbon-free energy and transportation company.

Musk is chief executive of Tesla, chairman of both companies and their biggest shareholder. Shares of SolarCity have declined by more than 50 percent this year, making some investors skeptical of the deal, which caused Tesla's stock price to drop 10 percent on the first trading day after the merger was announced.

Tesla shares have since recovered, as big investors appear to have stood by the company.

SolarCity shares are also higher than before the deal was announced. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co listed owning 43,840 shares of SolarCity at the end of June, down from 832,139 shares at the end of the first quarter. Fidelity, SolarCity's second-largest investor, held 11.65 million shares as of June 30, according to Reuters data, 20 percent less than at the end of March.

Senvest Management was a hedge fund that added SolarCity in the second quarter, taking a new stake of 125,000 shares in the period, filings showed.

(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Bernard Orr and Steve Orlofsky)



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