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Awaiting Tesla takeover, SolarCity hits capital markets

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Awaiting Tesla takeover, SolarCity hits capital markets

With its plan to be acquired by still up in the air,SolarCity Corp. haslined up more than $650 million in financing in just over two weeks.

The developer and financier on Sept. 28 said is supporting a pair offunds to develop more than $347 million of solar projects for homeowners andbusinesses in California. That followed a Sept. 12 announcement that a privatefund affiliated with QuantumStrategic Partners Ltd. made a $305 million equity investment in aportfolio of residential, commercial and industrial solar projects. A group ofinstitutional investors also provided a non-recourse loan to the company.

SolarCity's "health and growth potential fully relieson its ability to raise capital," S&P Global Market Intelligenceanalyst Angelino Zino said in a recent note, and there were concerns that thecompany could be cut off from capital markets while the Tesla deal is pending.Credit Suisse analyst Patrick Jobin previously estimated that SolarCity wouldneed around $2 billion this year.

Apparently facing a cash crunch, SolarCity in August saidchairman Elon Musk, CEO Lyndon Rive and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive about 81% of a $124million solar bond offering. The 18-month debt carried a higher interest ratethan 15-year notes the company offered last year, a sign of trouble to someobservers.

Radford Small, whom SolarCity promoted to CFO on Sept. 28,said the latest Citi investment "is a testament to how our solar assetscontinue to perform in the field, and in the capital markets."

SolarCity President Tanguy Serra, who previously was incharge of the company's finances, is leaving at the end of the year after theanticipated closing of the Tesla deal.

Tesla, which manufactures electric vehicles and energystorage systems, warned that the acquisition could be delayed or blockedby lawsuits attacking the planned takeover as a bailout orchestrated by Musk,the chairman of both companies.

Despite growing investor speculation to the contrary,Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. analyst Colin Rusch on Sept. 26 said he still thinksthe deal will close.