Musk Sells Another $6.9 Billion of Tesla Ahead of Twitter Trial

Elon Musk offloaded $6.9 billion worth of stock in Tesla Inc. to accumulate cash ahead of a trial that could force the billionaire to follow through on an agreement to acquire Twitter Inc.
Tesla’s chief executive officer sold about 7.92 million shares during the last three days of trading, according to regulatory filings. Musk, who still owns almost 15% of the electric-car maker, tweeted that he was done selling and would buy Tesla shares if the Twitter deal doesn’t close.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk wrote.
Tesla rose 3% to $875.51 at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday in New York, while Twitter climbed 3.2% to $44.19.
Yes.
In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2022
Musk has now dumped about $32 billion worth of Tesla shares since November. The world’s richest person said less than four months ago he had no further stock sales planned and has attempted since then to terminate his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. The social media company has sued to force Musk to go through with the deal, and a trial is scheduled for October.
“He is cashing up for Twitter,” said Charu Chanana, a strategist at Saxo Capital Markets Pte in Singapore, who believes Musk may be trying to take advantage of Tesla shares rebounding about 35% since late May. “The bear market rally has started to falter, and further repricing of Fed expectations could mean more pain for equities ahead, especially in tech.”
Investors had been skeptical that Musk, 51, was done offloading Tesla stock, with 68% of 1,562 respondents to an MLIV Pulse survey saying last month he was likely to sell more regardless of what happens with the Twitter deal.
“Musk said at the Tesla shareholder meeting that any weakness in the share price was a buying opportunity, and then 24 hours later started selling stock himself,” said Jim Dixon, a senior equity sales trader at Mirabaud Securities. It’s “very unlikely” Musk is done offloading the stock, Dixon said.
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