Elon Musk has re-registered his space company SpaceX from Delaware to Texas. The background is a court ruling on his salary as Tesla managing director.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has moved the official headquarters of his space company SpaceX from the US state of Delaware to Texas. A judge in Delaware had denied him a share package as a salary, which infuriated the 52-year-old. The package is worth $56 billion (52.1 billion euros) and includes shares in Musk's electric car company Tesla. Musk announced that he would withdraw more of his companies from Delaware, which is extremely popular as a corporate headquarters in the USA.

Musk and the authorities in Texas have now published documents according to which SpaceX has officially been based there since Wednesday. SpaceX has long had a strong presence in the state: The company builds the Starship rocket and satellites of the Starlink communications system at several locations, and Space X also tests and develops engines in Texas. On the social media platform X, Musk called on other Delaware-based entrepreneurs to do the same.

Musk also moved Neuralink, his brain implant company, and its official headquarters changed from Delaware to Nevada last week. This is more difficult with Tesla: Unlike SpaceX and Neuralink, the car manufacturer is listed on the stock exchange and a move requires shareholder approval. Musk announced a corresponding proposal, but so far it has remained that way.

By withdrawing his companies from Delaware, Musk is reacting to the court's decision on a shareholder lawsuit at the end of January. In 2018, Tesla promised him stock options worth up to $56 billion as a salary if Tesla reached ambitious targets for stock market value and business figures. A shareholder sued. Musk has already been granted the options, but he has not yet been able to redeem them due to the legal dispute.

Court in Delaware costs Musk top spot in Forbes ranking

Judge Kathaleen McCormick in Delaware found that Musk had too much influence in the background when agreeing the compensation plan to be considered a fair process. Shareholders were told that some of those responsible for the decision at Tesla had close ties to Musk. As a result of the decision, Musk lost his top position in Forbes' ranking of the richest people and has since been no longer considered the richest person in the world. Read more here.

In the trial, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff, who wants to annul the agreement with Musk. She admitted that the cancellation of the mega deal does not automatically follow from the finding that the agreement was created under unfair circumstances. However, an annulment is the preferred solution in Delaware. “The plaintiff is entitled to annulment,” she wrote in her 200-page ruling. Musk then railed that all companies should leave the state.

Delaware is a very popular place of business in the USA due to favorable tax conditions and a business-friendly jurisdiction that has grown over decades.

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