Tesla CEO and prominent tweet guy Elon Musk has reportedly sold off another big chunk of his shares in the automaker in an effort to fund his buyout of Twitter. Musk unloaded 19.5 million Tesla shares to the tune of $3.95 billion in his latest transaction.
That brings the total dollar value of Tesla shares he’s offed to right around $36 billion in the past year. Bloomberg reports the latest sale came from regulatory filings in New York. However, it does not say if the sale was pre-planned. Half of that $36 billion selloff has come since Musk first went public with his intentions to buy Twitter.
As is traditionally the case with Elon, he went back on an earlier assurance that he was done selling Tesla stock. Bloomberg says that in April, Musk alleged that no further transactions were in his future. He then reiterated that point again in August. He said it was important to avoid an “emergency sale” as the close of his Twitter acquisition neared.
Stocks of Tesla have reportedly fallen about 46 percent in the past year alone, and it has lost $600 billion in market capitalization since it peaked back in November of 2021. That decline in stock price has dragged his estimated fortune down to about $179.5 billion. That’s nothing to sneeze at, obviously, but it’s a far cry from the $340 billion he was worth at its height.
While it’s impossible to really know why Musk decided to sell off millions of Tesla stocks, an educated guess would probably start with the turmoil of his latest acquisition: Twitter.
Several major companies have pulled advertising, half of the staff has been cut and the social media site now faces annual interest payments of about $1.2 billion because of how Musk’s takeover was brokered.
Apparently, some Tesla shareholders are concerned that Musk is speaking himself too thin with his acquisition of Twitter and that it could lead to him getting rid of even more stock. For now, according to Bloomberg, he still owns about 14 percent of Tesla.