Elon Musk sells $6.9 billion from Tesla to avoid Twitter sellout

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(Bloomberg) – Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion of his shares in Tesla Inc., the billionaire’s biggest ever sale, saying he needed the cash in case he was forced to continue with his deal aborted to buy Twitter Inc.

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“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal *and* certain financial partners don’t materialize, it’s important to avoid a fire sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted. late Tuesday after sales were disclosed in a series of regulatory filings.

Asked by followers if he’s done selling and would buy back Tesla shares if the $44 billion deal doesn’t go through, Musk replied, “Yes.”

The Tesla CEO sold about 7.92 million shares on Aug. 5, according to the new documents. The sale comes just four months after the world’s richest person said he had no further plans to sell Tesla stock after selling $8.5 billion worth of shares following his bid initial purchase of Twitter.

Musk may continue to sell Tesla, with or without Twitter: MLIV Pulse

Last month, Musk said he was ending the deal to buy the social network where he has more than 102 million subscribers and making it private, saying the company had made “misleading statements ” on the number of spambots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk into the deal, and a trial in Delaware Chancery Court has been set for October.

In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his stake in Tesla and increased the size of the equity component of the deal to $33.5 billion. He previously announced that he had secured $7.1 billion in equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital and Binance.

“I’ll put the odds at 75% that he buys Twitter. I’m shocked,” said Gene Munster, a former technology analyst who is now a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures. “This is going to be a headwind for Tesla in the short term. In the long run, all that matters are deliveries and gross margin. »

Over the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter provides its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “deal should continue on original terms.” .

Musk, 51, has now sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla stock in the past 10 months. The divestments began in November after Musk, a prolific Twitter user, polled users on the platform about whether he should cut his stake. The purpose of the latest sales was not immediately clear.

Tesla shares are up about 35% from recent lows in May, but are still down about 20% this year.

With a fortune of $250.2 billion, Musk is the richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen by around $20 billion this year as Tesla shares tumble. .

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