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Musk sells $6.9 billion of Tesla shares after saying he was done

Elon Musk
Elon Musk has sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla stock over the last 10 months.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion of shares in Tesla Inc., according to regulatory filings Tuesday, just months after saying he didn’t plan to sell any more stock in the pioneering electric-car maker.

Tesla’s chief executive offloaded about 7.92 million shares on Friday, according to the filings. The sale comes just four months after the world’s richest person said he had no plans to sell additional Tesla shares after disposing of $8.5 billion of stock in the wake of his now-pulled deal to buy Twitter Inc.

Musk, 51, has sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla stock over the last 10 months. The disposals started in November after Musk, a prolific Twitter user, polled users of the platform on whether he should trim his stake.

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The purpose of the latest sales wasn’t immediately clear.

The California DMV has accused Tesla of false advertising in its promotion of the company’s signature Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies.

Tesla shares have risen about 35% from lows reached in May but are still down about 20% this year.

With a $250.2-billion fortune, Musk is the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen about $20 billion this year as Tesla shares declined.

Musk last month said he was terminating his $44-billion agreement to acquire Twitter and take it private, claiming that the company has made “misleading representations” over the number of spam bots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk to consummate the deal; a trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery has been set for October.

Twitter is taking Elon Musk to court. If they wind up settling, it might involve more than just money.

Over the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter were to provide its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “the deal should proceed on original terms.”

In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his Tesla stake and increased the size of the equity component of the deal to $33.5 billion. He had previously announced that he had secured $7.1 billion of equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital and Binance.


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