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Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $7 billion to raise cash in case he's forced to buy Twitter

·3 min read
Elon Musk
Tesla CEO is locked in a legal tussle with Twitter over his proposed acquisition of the social media platform.Yasin Ozturk/Getty Images
  • Elon Musk sold 7.92 million Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion over three days this past week.

  • He said he wanted to "avoid an emergency sale" of Tesla stock in case he was forced to buy Twitter.

  • Musk said in April he wasn't planning to offload any more shares in the electric vehicle maker.

Elon Musk sold 7.92 million Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion, according to six regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission made public on Tuesday. They took place from August 5 to August 9.

The Tesla CEO suggested he sold the stock now to raise cash in case he was forced to buy Twitter, rather than risk a sale at lower prices should the deal go through.

"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," Musk tweeted late Tuesday after his latest Tesla share sale was made public.

He replied "Yes" to questions from followers on whether he was done selling and if he would buy Tesla shares again if the Twitter deal doesn't go through.

Musk and Twitter are caught in a legal battle over his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform that was made public in April. In May, Musk said he was putting the deal "on hold" until Twitter proved that fewer than 5% of its accounts were fake, as his bid was based on the company's SEC filing being accurate. Twitter said in a May 2 SEC filing that fewer than 5% of accounts on its platform were fake.

In July, the billionaire said he was terminating the deal. Twitter then sued Musk for trying to back out of the acquisition, and Musk countersued the company for misleading him.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that the Twitter deal "should proceed on original terms" if the social media platform reveals how it samples accounts to determine if they are real. "However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not," he added.

Musk tweeted on April 29 he was not planning any more share sales after he he sold $4 billion worth of Tesla shares over two days. He has now sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla shares collectively over the past 10 months, according to Bloomberg calculations. He now owns 155 million shares in Tesla, according one of the SEC filings on Tuesday.

Tesla shares closed 2.44% lower at $850 a piece on Tuesday before the filings about Musk's latest share sale were made public. They've fallen by around 12% since Musk first said he would buy Twitter and have lost 29% in value so far this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider