Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk has so far sold Tesla stocks worth $19.3 billion since announcing his takeover of Twitter in April this year. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last month and since then, he has been trying to implement various changes to increase Twitter’s revenue to make it sustainable. According to reports, the billionaire has lost over $200 billion as shares of the electric vehicle firm hit a 52-week low.
Elon Musk sold 19.5 million Tesla shares for $3.9 billion (pre-tax) between November 4 to November 8, showing the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This brings the total value of Tesla shares sold by Musk since April 14 to $19.3 billion (pre-tax).
Musk sold $7 billion of his Tesla stock in August as he worked to finance the Twitter purchase he was trying to get out of at the time. In all, Musk has sold more than $19 billion worth of Tesla stock since April, including those in Tuesday’s filings, likely to fund his share of the Twitter purchase.
The takeover of Twitter has not been smooth and the social media platform has seen the exodus of some big advertisers in recent weeks including United Airlines, General Motors, REI, General Mills and Audi. Musk acknowledged ‘a massive drop in revenue’ at Twitter, which heavily relies on advertising to make money.
Musk had signalled that he was done selling Tesla shares and the revelation that those sales continue left some industry analysts exasperated.
“Our fear heading into the final days of the deal was that Musk was going to be forced to sell more Tesla stock to fund the disaster Twitter deal and ultimately those fears came true which speaks to some of the massive selling pressures on the stock of late,? wrote Daniel Ives at Wedbush.
Most of Musk’s wealth is tied up in shares of Tesla Inc. On Tuesday, his personal net worth dropped below $200 billion, according to Forbes, but he is still the world’s richest person.
Musk had lined up banks including Morgan Stanley to help finance the Twitter deal. His original share of the deal was about $15.5 billion, Ives estimated. But if equity investors dropped out, Musk would be on the hook to replace them or throw in more of his own money.
“The Twitter circus show has been an absolute debacle from all angles since Musk bought the platform for all the world to see: from the 50% layoffs and then bringing back some workers, to the head-scratching verification roll-out to users which many are pushing back on, to the constant tweeting in this political firestorm backdrop, and now…Selling more TSLA stock,” Ives wrote.
Shares of Tesla Inc, which were flat before the opening bell Wednesday, have fallen 8% this week and are down 46% this year, far outpacing broader market declines in what has been a dreadful year for investors.
(With agency inputs)