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David Einhorn Takes Musk Up on Offer to Tour Tesla Facilities

Anthony Palazzo and Dana Hull

(Bloomberg) -- Short seller David Einhorn has taken Elon Musk up on his offer to tour Tesla Inc.’s facilities, suggesting they start with the company’s troubled solar plant in upstate New York.

Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital has lost money in recent months on its bet against Tesla shares, which have surged 50% since June 30. After reporting a surprise quarterly profit last month, Musk has taken a public victory lap by goading one of his most vocal skeptics on Twitter and inviting him to meet.

“I think facility visits would be fun (can we start in Buffalo?),” Einhorn tweeted Friday in response to Musk. “I might learn the difference between your alien dreadnought factory and cars made by hand in a tent.”

Tesla makes solar panels in Buffalo, New York. The company leases the facility from a state-affiliated nonprofit that wrote down the value of the factory last year by $883.8 million, according to an auditor’s filing submitted in September.

Musk, 48, taunted Einhorn roughly 12 hours earlier after reading Greenlight Capital’s third-quarter investor letter that was again critical of the carmaker. “It is understandable that you wish to save face with your investors, given the losses you suffered from Tesla’s successful third quarter,” Musk wrote. “You have our sympathies.”

Musk invited Einhorn, 50, to discuss the company in person, saying his investors “would appreciate you getting smart on Tesla.”

In August, Einhorn called on Musk to resign after Business Insider reported on “Project Titan,” a Tesla effort to inspect all roofs that had solar panels and potentially faulty connectors. Einhorn said on a conference call Thursday that Greenlight remains short on Tesla, even though the position hurt its performance during the period. He added that he’s been surprised by the stock’s resilience, given “relentless negative news and what appears to be an end of the company’s growth trajectory,” according to a transcript.

In his tweet, Musk addressed Einhorn as “Unicorn” and signed off as “Treelon,” a reference to his tree-planting donation. Musk accompanied the missive a reference to gifting Einhorn “short shorts.”

It wasn’t the first time the men have sparred. Last year, Einhorn acknowledged receiving an earlier transmission of shorts.

“I want to thank @elonmusk for the shorts,” Einhorn posted. “He is a man of his word! They did come with some manufacturing defects.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony Palazzo in London at apalazzo@bloomberg.net;Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, ;Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Chester Dawson

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