Elon Musk sells nearly 900k Tesla shares after Twitter poll

by Jonathan Adams
Tesla

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

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

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

The sales, disclosed in two regulatory filings late yesterday, 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 yesterday at 1,067.95 dollars per share.

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

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% ownership stake over the coming months or is it done piece-by-piece during 2022?, he said.

Citadel’s Ken Griffin said he was shocked that fellow billionaire Elon Musk polled social media users about whether to sell 10% of his stake in Tesla Inc.

I never thought we’d let our ownership stakes be dictated by a poll on Twitter, the hedge fund manager said Wednesday at the New York Times DealBook conference. We live in a whole different world.



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