Elon Musk Sells $6.9B of Tesla Stock in Case He's Forced to Buy Twitter

Even though Elon Musk is trying to back out of a deal to buy Twitter, the Tesla CEO is still preparing enough cash in the event he’s forced to acquire the company. 

On Tuesday, Musk revealed in SEC filings(Opens in a new window) that he sold 7.9 million shares in Tesla for about $6.9 billion. The sales started on Aug. 5 and continued on Aug. 8 and 9.

Musk says the stock sale is necessary in case a Delaware court orders him to buy Twitter. “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,” he tweeted(Opens in a new window).

In April, Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion. At the time, the acquisition plan called for Musk to supply $21 billion in equity financing with a remaining $26 billion sourced from bank loans. In May, Musk received another $7 billion(Opens in a new window) from friends and supporters, including Oracle CEO Larry Ellision, to back his deal to buy Twitter. 

Musk’s decision to sell off $6.9 billion in Tesla shares is still surprising some investors. At the end of April, he previously(Opens in a new window) sold $4 billion in Tesla shares while telling investors he didn’t plan on selling off any more. 

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Following his most recent sell-off at $6.9 billion, Musk wrote on Twitter he was once again done selling. However, he plans(Opens in a new window) on re-buying Tesla stock if the Delaware court cancels his deal to buy the social media company.

Musk’s trial against Twitter is set to begin in October. The Tesla CEO argues Twitter has been grossly undercounting the number of spam/fake accounts on the platform, which should allow him to back out from the deal. However, Twitter responded last month by suing Musk to force him to buy the company for $44 billion, citing the binding merger agreement he signed.

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