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Musk sells Tesla shares worth $8.5 billion ahead of Twitter takeover

Stock Markets Apr 29, 2022 01:02PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Founder and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory, which will produce batteries for the electric carmaker, in Sparks, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/James Glover II/File Photo
 
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By Hyunjoo Jin and Akriti Sharma

(Reuters) -Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold $8.5 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, U.S. securities filings showed, in sales likely aimed at helping finance his planned purchase of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

Musk said in a tweet on Thursday that there are "no further TSLA sales planned after today". He sold about 9.6 million shares this week, according to the filings on Thursday and Friday, equating to 5.6% of his stake in the company.

It was not clear whether all of Musk's recent Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) share sales were reported. Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The sale came after Musk on Monday clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion in cash in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world's richest person. Musk's net worth is $268 billion, according to Forbes.

As part of the deal, Musk said he would provide a $21 billion equity commitment.

It was not immediately clear how the billionaire would raise the remaining $12.5 billion of equity financing. Musk holds a 43.61% stake in unlisted rocket company SpaceX, which is reportedly valued at $100 billion.

Tesla shares rose about 5% in morning trading on Friday.

They have tumbled about 20% since Musk's disclosure of a more than 9% stake in Twitter on April 4.

Musk has been looking for partners to reduce his equity contribution to the deal, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding that it is far from certain such a partner will emerge.

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% of his stake in the electric car maker.

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

As part of the Twitter financing deal, Musk secured commitments for $13 billion in loans secured against Twitter and a $12.5 billion margin loan tied to his Tesla stock.

Musk sells Tesla shares worth $8.5 billion ahead of Twitter takeover
 

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Comments (3)
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Apr 29, 2022 12:06PM ET
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Elon can't complain about Bill Gates being a short when he decimated the stock more than once already by selling off stocks...biggest hipocrite and narccicist.
Charles ODonnell
Charles ODonnell Apr 29, 2022 12:06PM ET
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Musk did not "Short" his stock...could argue he exchanged a free 'market priced stock' with one intentionally over valued by approximately 40% so infact took a serious 'Loss' in support of true ESG goals...
Chris Cummins
Chris Cummins Apr 29, 2022 12:06PM ET
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martin guo  You two are odd. Marco never said anything about Musk shorting but Musk did sell quite a bit, which, if you study economics, would put downward pressure on the stock (supply and demand). That was his point and is was accurate.
Fozzy Ferdinand
Fozzinand Apr 29, 2022 11:14AM ET
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Why are financial reporters so bad at math. 21-8.5=17? 8.5+12.5≠21?
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Apr 29, 2022 11:14AM ET
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Wow if only they were as huge mega brained as you
Fozzy Ferdinand
Fozzinand Apr 29, 2022 11:14AM ET
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Benjamin USA  Simple addition and subtraction isn't that much to ask.
Chris Cummins
Chris Cummins Apr 29, 2022 11:14AM ET
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What are you talking about? He said he would put up 21, he sold off 8.5 so he needs 12.5 to meet the 21. The number 17 is not mentioned in the story so either it was updated or you have some issues.
Vesa Saarinen
Vesa Saarinen Apr 28, 2022 10:44PM ET
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but he sed he will go down with the ship and will be last to sell. is this new law suit then.
Tom Sc
Tom Sc Apr 28, 2022 10:44PM ET
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how can u sue him for selling his shares in the open market? if you own Tesla shares you should be aware that the shares and Elon are a package deal
rocket printer
rocketer Apr 28, 2022 10:44PM ET
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Looks like Vesa lost a lot during the dump
 
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