Musk sells $8.5B in Tesla stock as he readies to buy Twitter
Tom Krisher, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — In the three days after Elon Musk engineered a deal to buy Twitter, he sold roughly $8.5 billion worth of shares in Tesla to help fund the purchase.
Musk reported the sale of 9.6 million shares in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday and Friday. The trades were made at prices ranging from $822.68 to $999.13.
On Friday, shares of Tesla Inc. were going for around $904.50.
The world’s richest man, who is the CEO of Tesla, tweeted Thursday night that he doesn’t plan any further sales of the company’s shares.
Twitter announced Monday that it had agreed to be purchased by Musk for $54.20 a share, or about $44 billion. Analysts said the deal could make Tesla investors nervous that Musk will be distracted by Twitter and less engaged in running the electric car company — and have to sell a large number of Tesla shares to finance the acquisition. Musk is Tesla’s largest shareholder.
On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed down 12%, the biggest single-day drop since Sept. 8, 2020. The shares are up more than 3% Friday but still down 10% for the week.
Twitter shares rose to $49.72, up 1.2% but still well below the deal price.
Before Musk’s deal for Twitter is completed, shareholders will have to weigh in. So will regulators in the U.S. and in countries where Twitter does business.
So far though, few hurdles are expected, despite objections from some of Twitter’s own employees and from users who worry about Musk’s stance on free speech and what it might mean for harassment and hate speech on the platform.