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Elon Musk sells at least $3.95B of Tesla shares after Twitter takeover

Musk sold 19.5 million shares of Tesla, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
FILE - Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., March 14, 2019. Twitter is suing Musk in Delaware in an attempt to get him to complete his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, a deal Musk is trying to get out of.
Elon Musk at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., on March 14, 2019.Jae C. Hong / AP file
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Elon Musk sold at least another $3.95 billion worth of shares in his electric car company Tesla after closing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission published Tuesday, Musk sold 19.5 million more shares of Tesla.

Musk sold almost $22 billion worth of Tesla shares in 2021, a year when the stock jumped over 50%. This year, he sold over $8 billion worth of Tesla stock in April and another roughly $7 billion worth in August.

In addition to pouring billions of his own capital into taking Twitter private, Musk relied on partners, including equity investors Binance, Ron Baron’s BAMCO, Andreessen Horowitz, Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, to finance the deal, or to roll their existing shares into his holding company for Twitter.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, has called for an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia’s stake in Twitter following Musk’s take-private deal.

On Aug. 9, Musk told fans he was done selling Tesla shares to fund a possible Twitter acquisition. He wrote, in a tweet, “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.”

At the time, Musk was still battling Twitter in court to try to get out of the deal — which he proposed and agreed to in April.

Since closing the purchase, Musk has pulled dozens of Tesla engineers to Twitter to assist him with code review and other work.

Tesla shares are down 46% this year, wiping out a big chunk of Musk’s fortune. However, he’s still the world’s richest person with a net worth of close to $200 billion, according to Forbes.

At a conference last week, Musk told hedge fund manager Ron Baron that his “workload went up from about, I don’t know 78 hours a week to probably 120.”

Musk, who’s also CEO of SpaceX, said on stage that “once Twitter is set on the right path, I think it is a much easier thing to manage” than his other companies. Musk hasn’t said who will be the new CEO of Twitter, but he’s suggested that his role as “Chief Twit” and sole director at the company is only temporary.