Months after announcing he wasn’t going to sell any more shares, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold nearly $8 billion worth of Tesla shares between Friday and Tuesday as he prepares to go to court in October over his $44 billion Twitter takeover deal, regulatory filings are showing.
Tesla’s CEO sold 6.92 million shares in the electric vehicle maker, indicating in a tweet that the sale was done in case he needed some financing for the purchase of Twitter. In all, he now owns 155.04 million shares in Tesla or a 15% stake in the company.
Musk’s selling spree started in April -as he was lining up financing for his $44 billion purchase of Twitter – with a sale of $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares after which he tweeted that he plans no further TSLA sales.
Although he has attempted to retreat from the Twitter deal since July, Musk said this past weekend that if the details on the social media platform’s actual user accounts can be confirmed, the deal may still go ahead.
Accusing Twitter of actions Musk said amounted to fraud and breach of contract, he pointed out that the social media platform misled his team about the true size of its user base and other problems after they insisted on being informed about how many Twitter users are ‘spam bots’ and how many are real people.
The spat resulted in Musk announcing last month to retreat from the deal after which Twitter sued him to complete the acquisition and Tesla CEO counter-sued, so they’re now headed to a trial on October 17 in a Delaware court.
Following the trial, Musk will face either a forced buyout of Twitter or a hefty fine for calling off the deal.
Since Tesla’s July 20 better-than-expected earnings report, the automaker’s shares have risen nearly 15%.