Elon Musk sells $1 billion of Tesla shares after Twitter poll

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Elon Musk

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has sold around 900,000 shares of his company’s stock for 1.1 billion dollars (€958 million) after promising to abide by a Twitter poll.

Mr Musk called on his followers to vote on whether he should sell 10 per cent of his holdings in the company, and 57.9 per cent of the 3.5 million votes were cast supporting a sale.

The sales, disclosed in two regulatory filings late on Wednesday, will cover tax obligations for stock options granted to Mr Musk in September.

He exercised options to buy just over 2.1 million shares for 6.24 dollars each. The company’s stock closed on Wednesday at 1,067.95 dollars per share.

The transactions were “automatically effected” as part of a trading plan adopted on September 14th to sell options that expire next year, according to forms filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

That was nearly two months before he floated the idea of the sale on Twitter.

After the transactions, Mr Musk still owns about 170 million Tesla shares.

A tenth of Mr Musk’s Tesla holding is worth around 20 billion dollars and the poll on Twitter caused a sell off of the stock on Monday and Tuesday, but it recovered some on Wednesday.

Wedbush Analyst Daniel Ives said it appears Mr Musk will start selling shares as the year ends.

“The question will be for investors if he sells his full 10 per cent ownership stake over the coming months or is it done piece-by-piece during 2022?,” he said.

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