The solar energy efficiency company SolarCity Corp. has awarded co-founder Lyndon Rive a $77 million stock option award. The terms closely resemble a similar option given to Rive’s cousin Elon Musk by Tesla Motors in 2012.
SolarCity creates stock option plan for co-founder
According to the filing, over the next ten years Rive can earn as many as 3 million stock options with a fixed exercise price of $48.97. To earn, he must achieve pairs of goals, with half tied to SolarCity’s stock price and half tied to such operational goals as increasing sales and lowering the cost to generate solar wattage. Each time a pair is achieved, one-tenth of the options are earned.
SolarCity has declined to comment beyond the filing, says spokesman for the San Mateo, California-based company, Jonathan Bass.
Elon Musk deal with Tesla near-identical
Elon Musk, whose near-identical terms from Tesla have earned him 50 percent of the 5.27 million Tesla options since 2012, is SolarCity’s chairman and biggest shareholder. He has achieved this half of the deal as Tesla has seen its market capitalization grow, and have introduced to market an electric crossover sports utility vehicle, the Model X. If Musk achieves all of his Tesla goals, his options are worth $1.6 billion.
So far, Rive has not earned any options, according to SolarCity’s proxy. The company has achieved two of its operational goals, but in order to get the pair, the stock price has to hit $84.07 a share before he can earn the initial one-tenth of the options. On Thursday, SolarCity closed at only $33.87. According to the terms, Rive will earn all of the options if the company goes to $400 per share, plus all operational goals are achieved. At $400 a share, the 3 million options will be worth $1.05 billion, according to Bloomberg compiled data.
Lyndon’s brother Peter, who is also co-founder of SolarCity and acts as chief technology officer, is eligible for 2 million options under the same plan.
The brothers founded SolarCity in 2006 after a suggestion by Elon Musk to start a solar energy company. It has been the leading provider of solar energy in California since 2007 and in 2013 was the number one residential solar installer in the United States.