Over 8 million shares of Tesla have been sold by Elon Musk
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, sold 7.9 million shares of Tesla stock recently, raising $6.9 billion in the process.
Late Tuesday night, the SEC released a series of papers detailing sales from Friday through Tuesday. Since April, when he sold 9.6 million Tesla shares, raising $8.5 billion, this is the first time Musk has sold Tesla shares.
After Musk’s $44 billion deal to purchase of Twitter, those April sales came as a pleasant surprise. A month ago, he declared that he would not proceed with the agreement, citing Twitter management’s failure to reveal critical information regarding how many user accounts were fake or spam accounts, rather than real people. By filing a lawsuit, Twitter (TWTR) compelled a settlement with Elon Musk on terms agreed upon in April.
The rationale for the stock sales was not disclosed in Musk’s papers. Tesla shares had already been sold, but when someone on Twitter asked him whether he was done, he said “Yes” and then cited the risk of being compelled to purchase Twitter as the rationale for this last transaction. “
“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,” he wrote in a tweet.
In April, he tweeted, “No further TSLA sales planned after today.” when he sold his Tesla stock.
On Tuesday, he was asked on Twitter if he would repurchase Tesla stock if the transaction with Twitter fell through, and he responded, “Yes.” to the question.
Tesla’s stock has lost about 20% of its value this year, but has rebounded 14% after the company reported its first-quarter earnings in late July.
The average price of the shares Musk sold recently was $869 per share. He received an average of $883 a share in April, down from the $1,046 he received when he sold 15.7 million shares of Tesla late last year. As a result of exercising options that had been slated to expire, this sale would have covered an estimated record personal income tax bill.
There are still 155 million Tesla shares owned by Musk, and he has the option to buy over 100 million more at present prices, notwithstanding the recent stock sales. About 20 per cent of Tesla’s outstanding shares are under his control, thanks to the stock he owns and the options he has to buy more. This sale represents slightly over one-tenth of one percent of the shares and options he currently owns.