Musk sells $3.95bn Tesla shares days after Twitter acquisition

Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla, has sold shares worth $3.95 billion, according to regulatory filings, only days after closing a $44 billion bid for Twitter.

According to a calculation by Reuters, the latest sale increases Musk’s total sales of Tesla stock since November 2017 to approximately $36 billion, leaving him with roughly 14% ownership in the world’s most valuable manufacturer.

Musk sold 19.5 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission papers disclosed late Tuesday.

Tesla did not immediately react to a request for comment from Reuters regarding the reason for the share sale.

Analysts had expected Musk to sell further Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal, despite his repeated assertions that he was finished selling Tesla stock.

He sold Tesla shares for $6.9 billion in August and accumulated around $20 billion in cash through the sale of several stakes between November of last year and August.

According to a calculation by Reuters, he would have needed to raise an additional $2 billion to $3 billion to finance the Twitter transaction.

The billionaire concluded the purchase last month with $13 billion in loans from banks and a $33.5 billion equity commitment, including his 9.6% Twitter stake valued at $4 billion and $7.1 billion from investors including Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talon.

Tesla shares increased 0.7% to $192.64 in premarket trade. Since April, when Musk made a bid for Twitter, the company’s market value has declined by roughly half.