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In early July, Musk tore up his April 25 deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, saying the funds could be used to finance a potential deal for Twitter if he loses a legal battle with the social media platform.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter does force this deal *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it’s important to avoid a distress sale of Tesla stock,” he tweeted late Tuesday.
In early July, Musk tore up his April 25 deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the deal, dismissing his claim that he was misled about the number of spam accounts on the social media platform as buyer’s remorse in the wake of the tech stock slump. Both sides are headed to court on October 17.
“The Street will read through this poker move that the chances of a Twitter deal are now more likely,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said on Twitter.
In other comments on Twitter on Tuesday, Musk said “yes” when asked if he was done selling Tesla stock and also said he would buy Tesla stock again if the deal didn’t close on Twitter.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Musk, the world’s richest man, sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock in April and said at the time that no further sales were planned. However, legal experts have since suggested that if Musk is forced to complete the acquisition or settle the dispute with a stiff penalty, he is likely to sell more Tesla shares.
Musk sold about 7.92 million shares between Aug. 5 and Aug. 9, according to multiple filings. He now owns 155.04 million Tesla shares, or less than 15% of the automaker, according to calculations by Reuters.
The latest sales bring Musk’s total Tesla stock sales to about $32 billion in less than a year.
Tesla shares have risen nearly 15% since the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings on July 20, helped by the Biden administration’s climate bill that, if passed, would raise the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles.
Musk also teased Tuesday that he might start his own social media platform. Asked by a Twitter user if he had thought about creating his own platform if the deal didn’t close, he replied: “X.com”