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Elon Musk sells roughly $8.4 billion worth of Tesla shares

Elon Musk sold off a total of $8.5 billion in Tesla shares in recent days, new regulatory filings on Friday showed.

Musk sold the bulk of his shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, offloading 4.4 million shares. He sold another 5.2 million shares on Thursday, after which he tweeted, “No further TSLA sales planned after today.”

Tesla’s share price plummeted 12 percent on Tuesday and has since inched up higher. The stock was up about 3.9 percent on Friday.

Musk recently had his offer to buy Twitter accepted and to complete the Twitter takeover, which is due to close by October, Musk has committed $21 billion in cash, $13 billion from Morgan Stanley in traditional bank loans and another $12.5 billion from the bank and others in margin loans.

The reasons for Musk liquidating his 17 percent stake in Tesla so far in advance of the deal’s expected closing date are unclear.

In total, Musk sold about 9.6 million shares this week, according to the filings on Thursday and Friday, equating to 5.6 percent of his stake in the company. Musk still owns about 16 percent of Tesla, a stake worth $143 billion. After taxes, Musk will make about $6.5 billion from his latest stock sale, and made about $3 billion in profit from another big sell-off late last year.

“I think for Tesla shareholders, the Twitter news comes at a not ideal time, because there’s so many important targets and milestones for Tesla over the next six, nine, twelve months,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives told The Verge.

He cited the long-delayed Cybertruck, Tesla’s new 4680 battery packs, the continued buildout of the Gigafactories in Germany and Texas, and the recent reopening of the company’s factory in China. “It just adds another variable in a jittery market,” Ives added. “It’s definitely caused angst on the Street.”

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Tesla cites Musk splitting his time with his other companies as a potential risk factor.

“We are highly dependent on the services of Elon Musk, Technoking of Tesla and our Chief Executive Officer,” the company states. “Although Mr. Musk spends significant time with Tesla and is highly active in our management, he does not devote his full time and attention to Tesla.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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