Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corporation, has acquired 3 million Tesla shares for $1 billion, the carmaker confirmed in a regulatory filing on January 8. His 1.75 percent stake makes him Tesla’s second-biggest individual investor after co-founder and CEO Elon Musk.
The 74-year old Oracle founder has indirectly invested in the company through the Lawrence J Ellison Revocable Trust, making him the second-largest disclosed individual shareholder after Musk, who owns about a fifth of the company.
Ellison features as the world’s tenth-richest person with a net worth of $58.5 billion on Forbes Billionaires 2018 List. At an analyst meeting in October 2018, he said he had been building a personal stake in Tesla and that it was his second-largest holding, media reports stated. He also criticised how the news media had covered Musk and called him a close friend.
2018 was a bumpy one for Tesla, which saw Musk step down as Chairman as part of an SEC settlement over fraud charges after he tweeted in August that he had financing and investor support for a buyout at $420 a share. This prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to order greater board oversight, which said that this and other claims by him were false and misleading and affected Tesla’s stock.
Both Musk and the company agreed to pay $20 million in penalties and promoted Tesla to add Ellison and human resources specialist Kathleen Wilson-Thompson as board members.
The electric automaker also faced criticism over working conditions and production delays.