Elon Musk sells almost $7 billion of Tesla stock in 'surprise offload'

Aisha Nozari

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Elon Musk sells almost $7 billion of Tesla stock in 'surprise offload'

Featured Image Credit: Apex MediaWire/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo

Elon Musk has sold almost $7 billion of Tesla stock over the last week, despite insisting three months ago that ‘no further Tesla Inc sales were planned’.

On 29 April, Musk tweeted: “No further TSLA sales planned after today,” meaning the $6.9 billion offload will come as a surprise to many.

Musk took to Twitter again on Tuesday (9 August) to explain why he’d sold more stock, writing: “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.”

Last month, Twitter announced it would be suing Musk for backing out of his $44 billion takeover, and just weeks later Musk filed to countersue the social media giant. The trial will kick off in October. 

Elon Musk has sold almost $7 billion of Tesla stock over the last week. Credit: Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo
Elon Musk has sold almost $7 billion of Tesla stock over the last week. Credit: Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo

Musk’s latest offloading of Tesla stock was recorded by Securities and Exchange Commission filings and marks the first time the world’s richest man has sold Tesla stock since April, when he parted with $8.5 billion worth of shares. 

Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion on 25 April, but backed out last month, insisting he’d been misled about the number of spam accounts on the platform - something Twitter has denied. 

Musk argued that Twitter had ‘not complied with its contractual obligations’ relating to the deal, claiming he was not given enough information to ‘make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform’.

Twitter launched a lawsuit against Musk on 12 July, which - according to The Guardian - read: “Musk entered into a binding merger agreement with Twitter, promising to use his best efforts to get the deal done.

“Now, less than three months later, Musk refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.”

The lawsuit continued: “Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.

"This repudiation follows a long list of material contractual breaches by Musk that have cast a pall over Twitter and its business."

The lawsuit was filed in Chancery Court in Delaware, where Twitter is incorporated.

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Topics: News, Elon Musk, Twitter

Aisha Nozari
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