Musk sells $3.95 billion worth of Tesla shares days after Twitter takeover

Nov 8 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold 19.5 million shares in the electric car maker worth $3.95 billion on Tuesday, according to U.S. securities filings, days after he completed his takeover of Twitter at $44 billion. Inc.

Musk, the world̵[ads1]7;s richest man, had about $20 billion in cash after selling part of his Tesla stake and would have required raising another $2 billion to $3 billion to finance the Twitter deal, according to a Reuters calculation.

The latest share sale comes as analysts had also expected Musk to sell more Tesla shares. Musk had previously claimed that there would be no further sales planned after he completed a share sale in April and August.

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

Musk took over social media platform Twitter in a $44 billion deal a few days ago and has engaged in drastic measures, including firing half of its employees and a plan to charge for verification badges.

Musk pledged to provide $46.5 billion in equity and debt financing for the acquisition, which covered the $44 billion price tag and closing costs. Banks, including Morgan Stanley ( MS.N ) and Bank of America Corp ( BAC.N ), committed to providing $13 billion in debt financing.

The billionaire had tried to walk away from the deal in May, alleging that Twitter underestimated the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

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

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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