Elon Musk Reveals Why He Sold $6.9bn of Tesla Shares

Elon Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday and explained why he has sold $6.9 billion in Tesla shares, the electric vehicle company where he serves as chief executive officer (CEO).

The billionaire revealed that the decision was due to his current legal battle with social media website Twitter, which is attempting to compel Musk to purchase the company based on an agreement signed earlier in 2022.

Musk responded to a question on Twitter about whether he was finished selling Tesla stock.

"Yes. 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," the billionaire said.

Musk was also asked if he would buy Tesla stock if he is not compelled to purchase Twitter and responded: "Yes."

Twitter is seeking the enforcement of a $44 billion deal for the social media company that Musk made on April 25. The Tesla CEO has sought to pull out of the deal.

Musk has claimed that he was misled by Twitter about the number of fake or spam accounts on the site, but the company has dismissed this claim and is asking a court to enforce the agreement and finalize the sale.

Musk's attorney Mike Ringler said in a letter about ending the deal in July that sometimes Twitter "has ignored Mr. Musk's requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information."

Bret Taylor, chair of Twitter's board, tweeted in July that the company is "committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon" with Musk.

A trial is due to begin on October 17 in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Twitter is incorporated in Delaware and the Court of Chancery often handles business disputes of this kind.

The Tesla CEO previously sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in April but said at the time that he would not make further sales. However, he went on to sell a further $6.9 billion in shares between August 5 and 9.

He now owns less than 15 percent of the electric vehicle manufacturer, according to analysis from Reuters on Wednesday.

If Musk loses in court, he may be compelled to purchase Twitter for the previously agreed price of $44 billion. The world's richest man had previously committed more than $30 billion of his own money for the purchase of the social media company.

Newsweek has asked Tesla and Twitter for comment.

Update 08/10/22 06.10a.m. E.T.: This article was updated to include more information.

Elon Musk Attends the Met Gala
Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. Musk has sold $6.9 billion in Tesla shares. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue