Musk sells Tesla shares worth $8.5 billion after buying Twitter

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), sold $8.5 billion in shares in the electric vehicle maker, according to U.S. regulatory filings, likely to help finance his planned acquisition of Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N).

“There are no further TSLA sales planned after today,” Musk declared in a tweet on Thursday. According to the papers on Thursday and Friday, he sold around 9.6 million shares this week, or about 5.6 percent of his interest in the company.

It was unclear whether Musk’s recent Tesla stock sales had been reported in full.

The sale comes after Musk said on Monday that he had agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in cash, a deal that will give the world’s richest person control of the social media network used by millions of people and world leaders. According to Forbes, Musk’s net worth is $268 billion.

Musk stated that he will contribute a $21 billion equity investment as part of the purchase.

It was unclear how the billionaire planned to raise the remaining $12.5 billion in stock capital. Musk owns a 43.61 percent ownership in SpaceX, a $100 billion rocket company that isn’t publicly traded.

Tesla’s stock increased by approximately 5% in morning trading on Friday.

Since Musk’s April 4 revelation of a more than 9% investment in Twitter, they’ve lost roughly 20% of their value.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Musk has been looking for partners to help him lower his equity stake in the purchase, though such a partner is unlikely to emerge.

This is his first Tesla stock transaction since he sold $16.4 billion worth of shares in November and December after polling Twitter users about selling 10% of his ownership in the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Musk announced on Twitter that he will owe more than $11 billion in taxes in 2021 as a result of exercising stock options that are supposed to expire this year.

Some traders have been concerned this week that Musk may not have enough cash on hand to cover his $21 billion cash contribution and may pull out of the agreement, putting downward pressure on Twitter shares.

Musk received pledges for $13 billion in loans secured against Twitter and a $12.5 billion margin loan related to his Tesla equity as part of the Twitter financing arrangement.

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