Elon Musk has sold nearly $4 billion of Tesla stock since the Twitter deal was completed

New York, USA (CNN) — Elon Musk has sold $3.95 billion in Tesla stock since completing the Twitter purchase late last month.

Musk’s sales of Tesla stock, totaling 19.5 million shares, have been widely expected since the Tesla CEO reached a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk has sold a batch of Tesla shares worth a total of $15.4 billion earlier this year since his deal to buy Twitter was announced.

Twitter confirmed that Musk had bought the social media company on October 27, but waited until November 4 to begin selling additional Tesla shares. Also, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings late Tuesday night, he also sold a batch of Tesla shares on Monday and Tuesday this week.

It is not clear whether the money Musk raised has gone toward buying Twitter, or to support losses at Twitter since he took over.

Musk revealed last week that Twitter had experienced a “massive drop in revenue,” as an increasing number of advertisers paused spending on the platform in the wake of his takeover of the company. He blamed “activist groups” for putting pressure on advertisers.

He announced plans to charge users $8 per month for verified accounts, and also announced significant staff cuts.

Tesla stock falling

This is not the best time to sell Tesla shares, which have lost 46% of their value so far this year, due to disappointing sales caused by supply chain problems. Musk has earned an average price of $202.52 for the Tesla shares he has sold since closing the Twitter deal, which is down 10% since he closed his Twitter deal.

Tesla shares were down 0.7% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

The company faces increasing competition in the electric vehicle market from well-known automakers such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors. Some investors have expressed concerns that Musk will be too distracted by his purchase of Twitter and not pay enough attention to address Tesla’s problems.

Mask stock sales

Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April, shortly after buying 73 million shares, or about 9% of the stock, for $2.6 billion. Those purchases made him the company’s largest shareholder.

He revealed shortly after the deal was announced that he had sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock, a move seen as a first step in raising the money he would need to complete the purchase of Twitter.

Even after Musk announced his change of mind and sued Twitter to force him to buy the company, he continued to sell Tesla shares. Filings in August showed that he sold an additional $6.9 billion worth of its stock.

Musk’s filings do not reveal the reason for these previous stock sales. But after someone asked him on Twitter if he had finished selling Tesla stock, he answered “yes” and then pointed out that he had to buy Twitter as the reason for those sales.

Tesla’s stock has split three-to-one since Musk’s previous sales, meaning he needed to sell three times as many shares in order to raise the most cash, but his stock holdings have also tripled due to the split.

Musk rarely sold shares of Tesla prior to his interest in Twitter, primarily selling shares needed to pay taxes when exercising stock options.

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