After making a promise on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold around 4.5 million shares of the electric car manufacturer’s shares, and raised over $ 5 billion.
The sale, revealed in 10 regulatory registrations late Wednesday, accounts for approximately 3% of Musk’s stake in the company. About $ 1.1 billion will go to pay tax liabilities for stock options granted to Musk in September.
Last weekend, Musk said he would sell 1[ads1]0% of his holdings in the company, worth more than $ 20 billion, based on the results of a poll he conducted on Twitter. The sales tweets led to a sale of the stock on Monday and Tuesday, but it recovered some on Wednesday. Shares rose 2.6% to $ 1,096 in expanded trading on Wednesday, and they have risen more than 50% this year.
The registrations also revealed that Musk exercised options to buy just over 2.1 million shares for $ 6.24 each. The company’s stock closed at $ 1,067.95 per share on Wednesday.
The transactions were “automatically executed” as part of a trading plan adopted Sept. 14 to sell options that expire next year, according to forms filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It was almost two months before he launched the idea of the sale on Twitter.
Following the transactions, Musk still owns around 167 million Tesla shares.
Musk was Tesla’s largest shareholder in June, owning around 17% of the company, according to data provider FactSet. He is the richest person in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of around $ 282 billion, mostly in Tesla shares.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives calculated that Musk has around $ 10 billion in taxes to be paid on stock options earned next summer.
The sometimes tiring and unpredictable Musk said he proposed selling the stock as some Democrats have pushed for billionaires to pay taxes when the price of their shares goes up, even if they do not sell any shares. However, the wording about unrealized gains, also called a “billionaire tax”, was removed from President Biden’s budget, which is still being negotiated.
“A lot has been done lately of unrealized gains as a means of tax evasion, so I propose to sell 10% of my Tesla share,” he tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Do you support this?”
Tesla does not pay Musk cash salary, but he has been given huge stock options. “I only have shares, so the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell shares,” Musk tweeted.
Tesla Inc. is based in Palo Alto, California, although Musk has announced that it will move its headquarters to Texas.