Musk sells Tesla shares worth $3.95 bln days after Twitter takeover

Nov 8 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has sold $3.95 billion of shares in the electric vehicle maker after he completed a $44 billion purchase of Twitter Inc., according to a US regulatory filing .

Musk, whose net worth fell below $200 billion after investors dumped Tesla stock, unloaded 19.5 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, filings published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

The latest share sale left Musk with a roughly 14% stake in Tesla, according to Reuters calculations.

The purpose of the sale was not disclosed.

The latest sales dump comes as analysts widely expected Musk to sell additional Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal.

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Musk, the world’s richest man, said in April that he had been sold Tesla stock. Still, he sold another $6.9 billion worth of Tesla shares in August, saying the sale was done to pay for the social media platform.

Musk, the world’s richest man, had nearly $20 billion in cash after selling a portion of his stake in Tesla, including the sale made last year. It would need to raise an additional $2 billion to $3 billion to finance the acquisition, according to Reuters calculations.

Tesla has lost nearly half its market value and Musk’s net worth has plummeted by $70 billion since he bid for Twitter in April.

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Twitter and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Musk took over Twitter last month and is engaged in drastic measures, including plans to sack half-staff and charge for blue check verification marks.

The billionaire pledged to provide $46.5 billion in equity and debt financing for the acquisition, which included a $44 billion price tag and closing costs. Banks, including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), have committed to providing $13 billion in debt financing.

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Musk’s $33.5 billion equity commitment includes his 9.6% Twitter stake, which is valued at $4 billion, and the $7.1 billion he received from equity investors, including Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Arabia. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attended.

Musk tried to walk away from the deal in May, alleging that Twitter had underestimated the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Reporting by Aakriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Hyunju Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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