Elon Musk Sells $3.95 Billion in Tesla Shares After Closing Twitter Deal

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold at least $3.95 billion (roughly Rs. 32,200 crore) of the electric car maker’s shares a few days after closing his purchase on Twitter.

Musk sold 19.5 million shares, according to a filing Tuesday in New York, his first issuance since August. The documents did not show that the transaction was premeditated.

The world’s richest man followed up with his takeover of the social media platform in October, after spending months trying to get off it. In August, Musk said he had finished loading up Tesla’s stock and that it was important to avoid an “emergency sale” of shares in case he was forced to close the Twitter acquisition and struggle to bring in more partners.

It is not clear how the $44 billion (approx. Rs. 3,58,650 crore) deal was ultimately financed, beyond the estimated $13 billion (approx. Rs. 1,05,970 crore) debt obligations from banks on Wall Street. Several high-profile individuals have pledged to invest around $7 billion (roughly Rs. 57,030 crore), although it is not known whether all have stuck to their promises. And Musk has never said publicly how he plans to raise his share of the money needed to close the deal.

But one thing is clear: Twitter is losing money and now faces annual interest payments of around 1.2 billion (roughly Rs. 9,780 crore). Since Musk took office, many large companies have suspended their ads on the platform, waiting to see how it evolves under the leadership of the billionaire.

“It looks like Musk is gearing up for things to stay bad at Twitter for the next year,” Gene Munster of Loup Ventures said after the public stock sale. “You’re setting up Twitter to be a money pit.”

Musk, 51, and his right-hand man, Jared Birchall, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The billionaire’s drastic cost-cutting measures — including laying off half the staff and later asking others to return — and restructuring the speaker’s duties have led to two tumultuous weeks at the telecommunications company, with some employees not entirely clear. whether they are still employed or not.

The deal also raised concerns among some Tesla shareholders that the CEO was spreading himself too thin and would have to dispose of more of his stock.

He sold about $36 billion (about Rs. 2,93,300 crore) worth of shares in the carmaker last year — about half of that since he went public with the Twitter buyout plan, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The stock is now down 53 percent from its peak last year, pushing Musk’s net worth to $179.5 billion (approx. Rs. 14,58,400 crore) from a high of $340 billion (approx. Rs. 27,69,740 crore). according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. .

— With help from Dana Hull, Ed Ludlow, Tom Maloney and Esha Dey.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP

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