Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock as he gets his finances in order ahead of his court battle with Twitter.
In a series of documents submitted to regulators, Musk said he has divested some 8 million shares of his company Tesla Inc. in recent days.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners fail to comply, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted late Tuesday.
Musk is by far the largest individual shareholder of both Tesla and Twitter.
Shares of Tesla closed Wednesday on Wall Street at $883.07 per share, after a 4% gain. Those of Twitter Inc. advanced another 3.7% to close at $44.43 and have added 36% since July 11, as many believe Musk has little chance of success in court.
Musk countersued Twitter last week, accusing the company of fraud in connection with his deal to acquire the social network for $44 billion. The businessman claims that Twitter withheld critical information and misled his team about its user base.
Musk accuses Twitter of fraud, breach of contract and violation of a securities law in Texas, where Musk lives.
The billionaire offered to buy Twitter a few months ago, but later backed off, saying the social network had more “spam bots” and fake accounts than the company had disclosed.
Musk said he did not plan to make any big sales of his Tesla stake after securing financing to acquire Twitter, but Dan Ives, an industry analyst for Wedbush, said on Wednesday that “the situation has changed dramatically.”
Wedbush raised its price estimate for Twitter shares, “in the face of what we believe to be more of a chance of a Twitter deal and (Wall) Street uncovering Musk’s poker hand,” Ives wrote to clients.
“We may also see Musk trying to resolve this situation before the Twitter deal officially goes to court in October,” Ives wrote. “At a minimum, we see Twitter getting a massive deal from Musk in the $5 billion to $10 billion range that is starting to reflect in stocks.”
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Musk sells nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock