Elon Musk sells $6.9 billion worth of Tesla shares for Twitter deal

Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of Tesla shares, the billionaire’s biggest ever sale, saying he wanted to avoid a last-minute sale of shares in the electric car maker in case he was forced to pursue its failed deal to buy Twitter.

The Tesla CEO sold about 7.92 million shares on Aug. 5, according to a series of regulatory filings that were filed after U.S. markets closed on Tuesday. As speculation mounted over the reason for the divestiture, Musk responded in a series of late night tweets, saying he wanted to avoid an emergency stock sale if he was forced to complete the 44-year buyback. billion dollars from Twitter, which he walked away from last month. .

Asked by followers if he’s done selling Tesla stock and would buy the stock back if the deal doesn’t close, Musk said, “Yes.”

Elon Musk: Person of the Year 2021

The sale comes just four months after Musk, the world’s richest person, said he had no further plans to sell shares in the automaker which he turned into a global force after selling 8 $.5 billion in shares following its initial offer to buy Twitter. Since then, shares of Tesla have rebounded from lows hit in May, benefiting from broader gains in US stocks.

“He’s definitely making it clear that he’s cashing in for Twitter,” said Charu Chanana, strategist at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore. “The timing of the selloff – just ahead of the US CPI release – says something, however. The bear market rally has started to falter, and another revision to Fed expectations could mean more pain for stocks ahead. come, especially in technology.

Tesla shares are up about 35% from lows this year, but are still down about 20% this year.

Tesla’s fortunes in the market have been tied to that of the Twitter deal since Musk made his surprise opening earlier this year.

The billionaire said last month he was ending the deal to buy the social network where he has more than 102 million followers and making it private, saying Twitter had made ‘misleading claims’ on the number of spambots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk into the deal, and a trial in Delaware Chancery Court has been set for October.

The Twitter logo outside of their New York headquarters in midtown Manhattan.


In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his stake in Tesla and increased the size of the equity component to $33.5 billion. He previously announced that he had secured $7.1 billion in equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital and Binance. In his tweets Tuesday night, Musk said stock selling was also to be expected if those private investors didn’t show up.

Over the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter provides its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “deal should continue on original terms.” .

The Twitter agreement included a provision that if it collapsed, the party breaking the agreement would pay a $1 billion termination fee, under certain circumstances. Legal experts have questioned whether the row over spambots is enough to allow Musk to walk away from the deal.

Musk, 51, has now sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla stock in the past 10 months. The divestments began in November after Twitter users polled whether he should cut his stake in the platform, kicking off the roller coaster ride that has stunned even the most seasoned Musk watchers. He now owns 14.84% of Tesla, still making him by far the largest shareholder.

Musk’s $250.2 billion fortune is the largest in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen by around $20 billion this year as Tesla shares have fallen.

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