Why Elon Musk Sold $7 Billion Shares of Tesla
A few months ago, Elon Musk sold a huge amount of Tesla stock for $8.4 billion. He told his followers that he had no plans to sell any more stock and would probably wait until at least the end of the year to do so. But in the last few days, the businessman sold another $7 billion in shares, which got the attention of his fans and investors.
The Tesla investor kept track of Elon Musk’s stock sales from August 5 to August 9. He found that Musk sold almost 8 million shares of his company, which would add up to the amount above. After that, the man asked Musk if he had finished his trade. Musk told him why he had sold the stock.
Musk said, “Yes.” “It is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock in the (hopefully rare) case that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t pay.
In fact, the first time he sold shares, it was to help pay for the purchase of the social network Twitter. But after a few weeks, Musk decided to back out of the deal because he was worried about how many bots were on the platform. During this time, he used Twitter to ask people what they thought and to scare some of the platform’s employees.
Twitter vs Musk
This led Twitter to sue Musk in an attempt to get the deal done. Recently, the platform’s lawyers showed documents that say “Elon Musk is not measuring the same thing as Twitter or using the same Twitter data” to make his claims. The documents also say that Musk is trying to change public opinion by distorting the numbers. In fact, they say that the businessman is measuring the number of bots with a tool called Botometer, which is not a reliable way to do this.
With the trial coming up, Musk might be putting himself in a position to lose and have to buy the company. The truth is that if things start to go wrong in the trial, the value of Tesla’s shares could go down. It was better to sell the shares now instead of having to sell more shares to reach the amount needed to buy Twitter.
Why did Musk withdraw Twitter deal?
Musk asserts that Twitter has not provided him with the information he requested in May regarding the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on its platform. At the time, he stated that the deal was “temporarily on hold” until he received data from Twitter indicating that spam and bot accounts make up less than 5% of its total users.
Musk’s legal team stated in a filing with the US SEC that “for nearly two months, Mr. Musk has sought the data and information required to make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform…Twitter has either been unable or unwilling to provide this information. Sometimes Twitter ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it rejected them for seemingly unjustified reasons, and sometimes it claimed to comply while providing Mr. Musk with incomplete or unusable information.”
Musk also stated that he was leaving because Twitter fired senior executives and a third of its talent acquisition team, in violation of Twitter’s obligation to “maintain substantially intact the material components of its existing business organization.”
While these are the two primary reasons Musk cited to the SEC for terminating the deal, a number of external factors may have also influenced his decision. Since the announcement of the deal, global tech stocks have undergone a massive correction. On Friday, the closing price of Twitter’s stock on the New York Stock Exchange was $36.81, compared to $51.70 on April 25 when the company accepted Musk’s offer. This represents a decrease of nearly 29 percent. Since the announcement of the deal, Tesla’s stock price has dropped more than 24%.
Second, it was unclear how Musk would fund the $44 billion transaction. Musk informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission in May that the deal would include $33.5 billion in equity, up from an earlier commitment of $27 billion. He had also sold Tesla stock for approximately $8.5 billion and secured $7 billion from investors, including Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal. However, he informed the SEC that he was continuing to seek additional financing and was in discussions with Twitter shareholders, including former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, about the possibility of retaining their company stakes. It is unknown whether Musk has raised sufficient funds to finance the transaction.
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