Musk sells $ 5 billion worth of Tesla shares

After promising on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold about 4.5 million shares of the electric car maker, an operation that brought him more than $ 5 billion.

The sales, disclosed in 10 regulatory filings filed Wednesday night, equate to about 3% of Musk’s stake in the company.

Almost $ 1.1 billion will go to pay the tax obligations of the stock options sold to Musk in September.

Last weekend, Musk said he would sell 10% of his stake in the company, valued at more than $ 20 billion, based on the results of a poll he conducted on Twitter. The tweet about the operation caused stocks to drop on Monday and Tuesday, which recovered somewhat on Wednesday. Shares of Tesla rose 2.6% to $ 1,096 in extended trading on Wednesday, and are up more than 50% this year.

According to the documents, Musk exercised call options for more than 2.1 million shares at $ 6.24 each. The company’s price closed Wednesday at $ 1,067.95 per share.

The tax transactions were “automatically affected” as part of a trading plan adopted Sept. 14 to sell options that expire next year, according to forms submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This happened almost two months before I raised the idea of ​​the sale on Twitter.

After the transactions, Musk still owns about 167 million Tesla shares.

Musk was the company’s largest shareholder in June, with a stake of about 17%, according to data company FactSet. He is the richest man in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of around $ 282 billion, mostly in Tesla titles.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives estimated that Musk will have to pay about $ 10 billion in taxes on the stock options he will receive next summer.

The sometimes gruff and unpredictable Musk said he proposed the sale because some Democrats have pushed for billionaires to pay taxes when the price of the shares they control goes up, even if they don’t sell them. But the mention of unrealized benefits, also called the “billionaire tax,” was removed from President Joe Biden’s government budget that is under negotiation.

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Musk sells $ 5 billion worth of Tesla shares