Musk sold .95 billion in Tesla stock after buying Twitter

Musk sold $3.95 billion in Tesla stock after buying Twitter

(Bloomberg) — The CEO of Tesla Inc. Elon Musk sold at least $3.95 billion of shares in the electric vehicle maker just days after closing his acquisition of Twitter Inc.

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Musk unloaded 19.5 million shares, according to regulatory filings on Tuesday in New York, his first sales since August. The documents did not show that the transactions were premeditated.

The world’s richest man followed the takeover of the social media platform in October after spending months trying to get away from it. In August, Musk had said he was done offloading Tesla shares and that it was important to avoid an “emergency selloff” of the stock in case he was forced to close the Twitter acquisition and struggled to attract additional equity partners.

It’s not entirely clear how the $44 billion deal was ultimately financed, beyond the roughly $13 billion in debt commitments from Wall Street banks. Several high-profile individuals pledged to invest around $7 billion, although it is not known if all of them followed through on their pledges. And Musk never said publicly how he planned to raise his share of the cash needed to close the deal.

But one thing is clear: Twitter is losing money and now faces annual interest payments of nearly $1.2 billion. Since Musk took over, several major companies have halted their ads on the platform, waiting to see how it evolves under the billionaire’s leadership.

“It looks like Musk is setting himself up for things to stay bad at Twitter for the next year,” Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster said after the stock sales were made public. “Twitter is getting ready to become a money pit.”

Musk, 51, and his financial right-hand man, Jared Birchall, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The billionaire’s drastic cost-cutting moves — including laying off half the staff and later asking some to return — and overhauling the platform’s operations led to a tumultuous two weeks at the social media company, with some employees not are absolutely clear. whether they still work there or not.

The deal has also fueled concern among some Tesla shareholders that the CEO is spreading himself too thin and will have to get rid of even more of his stock.

It has unloaded about $36 billion worth of the automaker’s stock in the past year — about half of that since it went public with its proposed takeover of Twitter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Now the stock is down 53% from its peak last year, pushing Musk’s fortune to $179.5 billion from a high of $340 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

–With help from Dana Hull, Ed Ludlow, Tom Maloney and Esha Dey.

(Adds context for funding in fourth paragraph)

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