Elon Musk sells nearly  billion worth of Tesla stock amid Twitter uncertainty

Elon Musk sells nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock amid Twitter uncertainty

Elon Musk sold Tesla for nearly $7 billion Inc.

TSLA -2.44%

The stock has rallied in recent days, regulatory filings show, amid uncertainty over the fate of its $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc.

Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive and largest shareholder, sold about 7.9 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, disclosures show, leaving him with a 15% stake in the company.

The Tesla boss has been on a selling spree over the past year, during which he cashed out nearly $32 billion worth of shares in the electric-car maker. That includes sales of about $8.5 billion in April, when Mr. Musk was lining up financing to take over Twitter. At this time, he tweeted: “No more TSLA sales planned after today.”

Neither Tesla nor Mr. Musk responded to requests for comment.

Mr Musk has since tried to walk away from buying Twitter, which is suing him to enforce the takeover. The case will go to court in October.

If the judge compels Mr. Musk to complete the transaction, he could be on the hook for $33 billion in equity financing, according to a regulatory filing. He already owns more than 9% of Twitter, worth roughly $4 billion at $54.20 a share, Mr. Musk’s purchase price.

Asked on Twitter if he had finished selling shares, Mr Musk tweeted, “Yes.” (He also said in April that he was not planning additional sales.)

On Tuesday, he added: “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forced the deal to end And with some equity partners not forthcoming, it’s important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.”

If the Twitter deal doesn’t close, Mr. Musk will buy Tesla stock again, he said. He suggested he might set up his own social-media platform—X.com—if the deal goes through. He said before agreeing to buy Twitter that he was giving “serious thought” to such an endeavor.

Mr. Musk, whose net worth is about $250 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is compensated in stock awards and does not receive a salary from Tesla.

He has long been reluctant to sell shares in the company, which could weaken his control. Most sales of stock options last year were designated to cover tax withholding obligations associated with exercise.

Last week, Tesla shareholders cleared the way for a 3-for-1 stock split that the company said was designed to make ownership more accessible to employees and individual investors.

The demerger is due to become effective for shareholders of record on 25 Aug 17, the company said last week.

write down Rebecca Elliott at rebecca.elliott@wsj.com

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On August 10, 2022, ‘Musk sales Tesla stock worth $7 billion’ appeared in the print edition.

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