Within three days of announcing he had a deal to buy Twitter, Elon Musk sold Tesla for $8.5 billion to help fund the purchase
Musk announced the sale of 9.6 million shares in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday and Friday. The trades were made at prices ranging from $822.68 to $999.13.
On Friday, shares of Tesla Inc. were worth around $904.50.
The world’s richest man, who is the CEO of Tesla, tweeted Thursday evening that he does not anticipate any further sales of shares in the company.
Twitter announced on Monday that it had agreed to be acquired by Musk for $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion. Analysts said the deal could make Tesla investors nervous that Musk is distracted by Twitter and less engaged in running the electric car company – and has to sell a large number of Tesla shares to fund the acquisition. Musk is Tesla’s largest shareholder.
Tesla shares closed down 12% on Tuesday, the biggest one-day drop since Sept. 8, 2020. Shares were up more than 3% on Friday but still down 10% for the week.
Twitter shares rose to $49.72, up 1.2% but still well below the trade price.
Before Musk’s deal for Twitter closes, shareholders will have to weigh in. So will regulators in the United States and countries where Twitter does business.
So far, however, few obstacles are expected, despite objections from some of Twitter’s own employees and users who are concerned about Musk’s stance on free speech and what it could mean for harassment and hate speech on the platform.