Monday, 13 May, 2024

Musk sells Tesla shares worth $4B, presumably for Twitter deal

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, tweeted that he doesn’t plan any further sales of the company’s shares.

Musk's net worth is $268 billion, according to Forbes.
Musk’s net worth is $268 billion, according to Forbes. (Reuters Archive)

Tesla Inc Chief ExecutiveOfficer Elon Musk has sold $4 billion worth of shares in theelectric vehicle maker, in sales likely aimed at helping finance his plannedpurchase of Twitter Inc.

He sold 4.4 million shares on Tuesday andWednesday, equating to 2.6% of hisstake in the company, US securities filings showed on Thursday.

Musk said in a tweet that there are "no further TSLA sales planned after today."

This is his first Tesla stock sale since he offloaded$16.4 billion worth of shares in November and December after polling Twitter users about selling 10 percent of his stake in the electric car maker.

The sale came after Musk on Monday clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion cash in a transaction that will shift control of the platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world's richest person.

READ MORE:Musk’s Twitter takeover: Win for free speech or reason for a wealth tax?

Concern among Tesla investors

As part of his deal to buy Twitter, Musk said he would provide a $21billion equity commitment.

It is not clear how he will cover the remaining $17 billion of equity financing, having covered $4 billion with sold shares. Musk holds a 43.61 percent stake in unlistedrocket company SpaceX that is reportedly valued at $100 billion.

He has been looking for partners to reduce his equitycontribution to the deal, a person familiar with the matter said, adding that it is far from certain such a partner willemerge.

Musk said on Twitter that he would pay more than $11 billionin taxes in 2021 due to his exercise of stock options set toexpire this year.

Some traders have fretted this week that Musk may not have enough money sitting around to fund his $21 billion cash contribution and could walk away from the deal, weighing on Twitter shares.

Tesla shares have fallen nearly 20 percent since Musk disclosed hisover 9 percent stake in Twitter on April 4.

Investors have expressedconcern that Musk may have to sell Tesla shares to fund hisequity contribution to the takeover offer.

As part of the Twitter deal, Musk also took out a $12.5billion margin loan tied to his Tesla stock. He had alreadyborrowed against around half of his Tesla shares.

READ MORE:How will Twitter alternatives be impacted by Elon Musk’s shake-up?

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