Elon Musk has sold nearly $4 billion worth of Tesla stock in the less than two weeks since he closed the deal to buy Twitter. That’s according to CNBC, citing SEC filings.
Musk, who purchased the troubled social media platform on October 27 for $44 billion, said that he was done selling roughly $7 billion in Tesla to fund the sale in August.
Musk’s purpose for the more recent selloff has not been disclosed but, unlike 2021 when he sold $22 billion worth of the then-surging Tesla, Tesla shares are off 46% this year, so his $3.95 billion decision unlikely to be about profit-taking.
Musk admitted late last week that Twitter was losing millions a day and said that was among the reasons he chose to cut its workforce roughly in half.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” wrote Musk late Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the self-proclaimed “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” pegged the savings from the move at $400 million a year.
In addition to pouring billions of his own capital into taking Twitter private, the Tesla CEO relied on Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia to finance the deal. The Saudi prince’s $1.9 billion investment makes him the social media company’s second-largest shareholder, even as just weeks before the country had sentenced a U.S. citizen visiting the kingdom to 16 years in prison for tweets critical of the regime there.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) has called for an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia’s stake in Twitter.