Elon Musk sells another $1.05bn worth of Tesla stocks to fulfil Twitter vow

Billionaire has offloaded 9.2 million Tesla shares and pocketed $9.9bn since social media survey earlier this month

Tesla shares have rebounded 9.4 per cent after initially slumping following the Twitter poll. AFP
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After a few days’ break, Elon Musk resumed selling shares in Tesla and has come more than halfway to making good on his promise to offload 10 per cent of his stake in the electric car maker.

The billionaire sold an additional 934,091 shares for $1.05 billion, according to regulatory filings late on Tuesday, US time. He also exercised 2.15 million stock options and the sales were made to cover the taxes related to that transaction, the documents showed.

With the most recent disposals, Mr Musk now has offloaded 9.2 million shares and pocketed $9.9bn since he conducted a Twitter poll asking whether he should sell 10 per cent of his Tesla stake. A chunk of that money will go to taxes.

To reach the 10 per cent threshold, Mr Musk would need to sell about 17 million shares, or about 1.7 per cent of the company’s outstanding stock. If his exercisable options are factored into his overall ownership, he would need to sell even more.

Mr Musk has exercised millions of options since the Twitter poll, all of which were less than a year from their expiration date.

In September, he established a pre-arranged trading plan to carry out “an orderly sale of shares related to the exercise of stock options”, filings show. The November 6 Twitter poll did not disclose the existence of that plan.

Tesla shares have rebounded 9.4 per cent after initially slumping following the poll. Its tokens on the FTX crypto exchange slipped to $1,102.70 as of 12.38pm in Hong Kong (8.38am UAE time) on Wednesday after closing at $1,109.03 in New York.

Mr Musk, 50, is the world’s richest person with a $303.7bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has added $133.9bn to his net worth this year, more than anyone else, amid a 57 per cent rise in Tesla shares.

Updated: November 24, 2021, 9:50 AM