Elon Musk Sells Tesla Stock Ahead of Twitter Takeover


Elon Musk is amassing the funds he needs to buy Twitter, selling $8.5 billion in Tesla stock this week, according to filings released on Thursday and Friday.

He tweeted that there were no further sales planned, which may come as a relief to Tesla shareholders, as the electric carmaker’s shares have fallen 20 percent since he first revealed that he had bought a 9 percent stake in Twitter in early April. Mr. Musk owned about 17 percent of Tesla’s shares before this week’s sales.

Although Mr. Musk is the richest person in the world, with a net worth above $200 billion, his wealth is mostly tied up in Tesla stock. He plans to raise more than $46 billion to buy Twitter, in a mix of cash and debt. Mr. Musk is financing the takeover with $13 billion in bank loans, plus $12.5 billion in loans against his stock in Tesla. He has pledged $21 billion in cash to buy the rest of Twitter’s equity.

One of the biggest questions about the deal is the source of that $21 billion, and this week’s stock sales appear to confirm that it could come, in part, from his extensive holdings in Tesla. The sales this week represented about 5 percent of the stock he held in Tesla.

Mr. Musk also owns other private companies, including the Boring Company, a tunnel development company recently valued at almost $6 billion, and SpaceX, which was valued at $100 billion last year. He could sell stakes in them to generate cash, bring in new partners or existing Twitter shareholders to cover some of the purchase or tap other potential sources of funds — like Dogecoin, the jokey cryptocurrency he often tweets about.

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