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Elon Musk Sells $4 Billion in Tesla Shares, Says No More Sales Planned

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold $4 billion (roughly Rs. 30,610 crore) worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, US securities filings showed on Thursday, in sales likely aimed at helping finance his planned purchase of Twitter.

Musk said in a tweet that there are “no further TSLA sales planned after today.” He sold 4.4 million shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the filings, equating to 2.6 percent of his stake in the company.

The sale came after Musk on Monday clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,36,690 crore) 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 (roughly Rs. 20,50,725 crore), according to Forbes.

As part of the deal, Musk said he would provide a $21 billion (roughly Rs. 1,60,690 crore) equity commitment.

It is not clear how he will cover the remaining $17 billion (roughly Rs. 1,30,090 crore) of equity financing. Musk holds a 43.61 percent stake in unlisted rocket company SpaceX that is reportedly valued at $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,65,230 crore).

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 (roughly Rs. 1,25,500 crore) worth of shares in November and December after polling Twitter users about selling 10 percent of his stake in the electric car maker.

Musk said on Twitter that he would pay more than $11 billion (roughly Rs. 84,140 crore) 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 (roughly Rs. 1,60,690 crore) cash contribution and could walk away from the deal, weighing on Twitter shares.

Tesla shares have fallen nearly 20 percent since Musk disclosed his over 9 percent stake in Twitter on April 4. Investors have expressed concern that Musk may have to sell Tesla shares to fund his equity contribution to the takeover offer.

As part of the Twitter deal, Musk also took out a $12.5 billion (roughly Rs. 95,600 crore) margin loan tied to his Tesla stock. He had already borrowed against around half of his Tesla shares.

© Thomson Reuters 2022
 

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