Musk sells $3.95 billion worth of Tesla stock days after Twitter acquisition

Nov 8 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk has sold $3.95 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, according to US regulatory filings, just days after buying Twitter for $44 billion.

After investors unloaded Tesla shares, its net worth fell below $200 billion, offloading 19.5 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show.

The latest stock sale gives Musk a roughly 14% stake in Tesla, according to Reuters calculations.

The purpose of the sale was not disclosed.

The latest selloff comes as analysts widely expect Musk to sell additional Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal.

Musk, the world’s richest man, confirmed in April that he had sold off his Tesla stake. However, he sold $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock in August, and said the sale was to pay for the social media platform.

Musk, the world’s richest man, has about $20 billion in cash after selling off part of his Tesla stake, including last year’s sale. He would need to raise an additional $2 billion to $3 billion to finance the acquisition, according to a Reuters calculation.

Tesla has lost half of its market value since its bid for Twitter in April and Musk’s net worth has fallen by $70 billion.

Twitter and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Musk took over Twitter last month and has taken drastic measures, including laying off half of its employees and a plan to charge for blue check verification scores.

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The billionaire pledged $46.5 billion in equity and debt financing for the acquisition, which includes a $44 billion price tag and closing costs. Banks including Morgan Stanley (MSN) and Bank of America Corp (PAC.N)Committed to provide $13 billion in debt financing.

Musk’s $33.5 billion equity commitment includes his 9.6% stake in Twitter, worth $4 billion, and $7.1 billion he received from equity investors including Oracle Corp. (ORCL.N) Co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

Musk tried to back out of the deal in May, saying Twitter had understated the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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