Is Elon Musk launching a Tesla-themed tequila?

Elon Musk

A federal judge approved settlements of securities-fraud litigation that put a 90-day deadline on Tesla's moves to add two independent directors to its board; create a permanent committee for reviewing executives' public statements about the company, while hiring a securities lawyer to mind their use social media; and give Tesla 45 days to find an independent chairman.

The company also accepted a $20 million fine, despite not being charged with fraud.

Under the deal, Musk will relinquish his role as Tesla's chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla shares rose 4 percent to $269.81 in morning trading.

The government lawsuit threatened Tesla and Musk with a long fight that could have undermined its operations and ability to raise capital.

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The story begins this past spring, when Elon Musk tweeted out an April Fool's joke that his company would make its own hard liquor called Teslaquila - a play on its own name and that of the distilled agave beverage.

The stock dropped last month after the SEC accused Musk, 47, of fraud over his "false and misleading" tweets on August 7.

"Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the company, wrote.

With the trademark application for the Teslaqula being the only such endeavor Tesla made all year, some might say the vehicle company has officially gone off track.

After electric cars, space rockets, tunnel-boring technology and high-speed transportation systems, Elon Musk appears to be branching into booze. Tesla has until November 13 to appoint an independent chairman.



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