Musk sold $3.95 billion worth of Tesla stock the day after taking over Twitter

Musk sold $3.95 billion worth of Tesla stock the day after taking over Twitter

November 8 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold $3.95 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, according to US regulatory filings, days after completing his purchase of Twitter Inc. for 44 billion dollars.

Musk, whose net worth fell below $200 billion after investors dumped Tesla shares, unloaded 19.5 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, according to data released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The latest stock sale gives Musk a roughly 14 percent stake in Tesla, according to a Reuters calculation.

The purpose of the sale has not been disclosed.

The latest sale comes as analysts expected Musk to sell additional Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal.

Musk, the world’s richest man, said in April that he was done selling Tesla shares. However, in August he sold another $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock and said the sale was made to pay for the social media platform.

Musk, the world’s richest man, had about $20 billion in cash after selling some of his Tesla stake, including a sale last year. That would require him to raise an additional 2 to 3 billion dollars to finance the takeover, according to Reuters calculations.

Tesla has lost nearly half of its market value and Musk’s net worth has fallen by $70 billion since he bid for Twitter in April.

Twitter and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Musk took over Twitter last month and got involved drastic measures including laying off half the staff and a plan to charge blue ticks.

The billionaire committed to providing $46.5 billion in equity and debt for the acquisition, which covered the $44 billion price tag and closing costs. Banks, including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N)pledged to provide $13 billion in debt financing.

Musk’s $33.5 billion equity stake included his 9.6% stake in Twitter, which is worth $4 billion, and $7.1 billion he secured from equity investors including Oracle Corp. (ORCL.N) co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Musk tried to back out of the deal in May, alleging that Twitter had underestimated the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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