Elon Musk sells £3.2 billion in Tesla shares after agreeing deal to buy Twitter
Elon Musk has sold 4.4 million shares of Tesla stock worth roughly 4 billion US dollars (£3.2 billion) – most likely to help fund his purchase of Twitter.
Musk reported the sale in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.
The shares were sold over the past few days at prices ranging from 872.02 dollars (£695.85) to 999.13 dollars (£797.29).
The world’s richest man, the CEO of Tesla, said in a tweet he does not plan any further sales of the company’s shares.
Most of the sales took place on Tuesday, when Tesla shares closed down 12%, a huge single-day drop.
Tesla investors fear Musk will be distracted by Twitter and less engaged in running the electric car company, analysts said.
Twitter agreed to be acquired by Musk on Monday for 44 billion dollars (£35.1 billion).
It appeared that Musk would borrow up to 25.5 billion dollars (£20.4 billion) from a slew of banks to pay for the takeover of Twitter, though the stock sale could fund some of that.
The deal to buy Twitter at 54.20 dollars (£43.25) per share was announced earlier this week and is expected to close sometime this year.
But before the deal is completed, shareholders will have to weigh in.
So will regulators in the US and in countries where Twitter does business.
So far, though, few hurdles are expected – despite objections from some of Twitter’s own employees and users who worry about Musk’s stance on free speech and what it might mean for harassment and hate speech on the platform.
Tesla shares closed on Thursday down slightly at 877.51 dollars (£700.24).
They are down 17% so far this year.