He divested himself of around 4.4 million Tesla shares, raising about four billion dollars, according to documents filed with the SEC. No further sales are planned after that, he wrote on Twitter on Friday night.
Elon Musk did not give any reasons for the share sale in the documents. Last autumn, he had divested himself of more than $16 billion worth of Tesla shares – largely to pay taxes due on redeemed stock options.
Now, however, he has committed to bringing in his own funds of up to 21 billion dollars for the Twitter purchase. How exactly he intends to raise them is still unclear. Musk still holds a good 168 million Tesla shares after the recent sale. He wants to use some of them to secure a loan of 12.5 billion dollars, which will also be used to finance the Twitter deal.
Musk submitted total funding commitments of $46.5 billion for the Twitter purchase. He agreed with the online service on the takeover but is still dependent on enough shareholders ceding him their shares at the price of 54.20 dollars.
The tech billionaire explains his interest in Twitter by saying that freedom of speech is restricted on the platform. He wants to change that. This puts him in line with conservatives, Corona skeptics, and supporters of former President Donald Trump in the USA, who all complaint of “censorship” on Twitter. In a tweet on Friday night, Musk also revealed a bit more about his political views: he had supported President Barack Obama at the time, “but today’s Democratic Party has been hijacked by extremists”.
Tesla shares are up 2.9 percent at times to 903.00 US dollars in pre-market trading on the NASDAQ.