By Aaron Miller-
Elon Musk has sold nearly $7billion in Tesla shares, according to new filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission published Tuesday.
Since Friday, Musk(pictured) has sold 7.9 million shares, which totals about $6.9 billion. This is the first time Musk has sold shares in Tesla since April, when he disposed of 9.6 million shares, worth about $8.5 billion.
Musk is believed to be selling the shares to stock up on cash in the face of his $44 billion Twitter acquisition. The executive tweeted Tuesday evening that he was done selling for the moment.
The selloff comes weeks after the Tesla CEO’s bid to withdraw a $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter and ensuing legal battle with the tech giant, something Musk acknowledged on Tuesday night.
Less than four months ago, Musk appeared to be withdrawing plans to sell any further Tesla shares, after offloading $8.5 billion of stock following the Twitter deal.
However, last month, Musk told Twitter he was abandoning the deal because he believed the social media company to be misleading in its bot calculations. However, over the weekend, the executive waffled a bit, tweeting: “If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Musk also tweeted Tuesday evening that if the Twitter deal doesn’t close, he’ll buy back his shares. Perhaps he’ll wait until Tesla issues its three-to-one stock split, which Tesla shareholders approved last week, so he can buy them back on the cheap.
Over the last ten months, Musk has sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla.
Tesla shares were down 2.44% today but are trading relatively flat in after-hours, suggesting the stock sales are yet to have an effect on Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s stock took a hit late last year when Musk sold off more than $16 billion worth of sales after polling his Twitter fans on whether he should trim his stake, a move that got him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt tweeted a count of Musk’s activity between August 5th and August 9th, showing he sold 7,924,107 shares worth about $6.9 billion. Just before 11PM ET, Elon responded on Twitter, citing the looming trial against Twitter as an explanation for the new plan
Musk sold shares earlier this year to help finance the acquisition of Twitter, but will now face the battle it out in court as from October 17th.