Elon Musk just spent an extraordinary amount to buy Twitter. But only days after the deal went through, the businessman is making headlines for selling nearly $4 billion worth of Tesla shares, despite swearing he won’t offload anymore.
According to regulatory filings made on Tuesday in New York, Elon sold 19.5 million shares worth $3.95 billion.
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The filings don’t confirm whether the sale was pre-planned, but it’s the first time he’s offloaded shares in the car manufacturer since August, which is when he claimed he wouldn’t sell more.
According to Yahoo! News, Elon initially claimed in April that he had no future transactions planned. However, when he announced another sale months later in August, he referred to it as an “emergency,” explaining he needed the funds to close the deal with Twitter after failing to find enough equity partners.
Overall, Elon has offloaded $36 billion in Tesla shares, with critics saying he’s spreading the company too thin. Half of the stock sales have happened since announcing his Twitter takeover.
The Tesla CEO initially announced his plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April, saying he hopes to make the platform “politically neutral.”
“I want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans,” he has stated.
However, he pulled out of the acquisition in July, accusing Twitter of providing him with incorrect information about spam accounts, thereby violating their contract.
However, after Twitter launched a lawsuit over breach of contract, Elon eventually decided again to buy the platform in October. The deal has since gone through, and Elon has taken control of the social media site.
However, Twitter has been suffering in the wake of its new ownership.
Yahoo! News reports that the platform has been losing money since the takeover and is facing annual interest payments of $1.2 billion. Many companies have stopped advertising on Twitter considering Elon’s controversial plans to reform the site to allow freer and unregulated speech.
The billionaire has taken various steps to cut costs since taking over Twitter. The same day as the takeover, he fired the company’s top executives. He’s also implementing a paid version of Twitter that will offer users a variety of perks for a monthly subscription fee (including having their account verified).
There’s speculation that Elon sold the Tesla shares in an effort to fund his Twitter takeover as the platform hemorrhages money. He may be the richest man in the world, but apparently even Elon Musk can have money problems.
Sources: Yahoo! News, The Guardian,
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