Elon Musk sells £5.7bn of Tesla shares ahead of US court showdown over abandoned Twitter deal
Elon Musk has sold £5.7bn worth of his shares in Tesla ahead of a courtroom showdown with Twitter after backing out of a £35bn deal to buy the social media site.
Musk, 51, said he did not plan to sell any more of his holdings in the electric car maker, and the disposal would avoid a fire sale of shares at a later date if Twitter forced him to proceed with the acquisition.
Offloading: Musk has been selling Tesla shares in order to shore up his cash reserves
‘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 stock,’ Musk, the richest person in the world and one of Tesla’s largest shareholders, said on Twitter.
Musk has offloaded around £26bn worth of his shares in Tesla since November, shoring up his cash reserves ahead of a US court showdown with Twitter in October.
Musk agreed to pay $54.20 per share to buy Twitter, and planned to fund part of the deal with a loan secured against his Tesla stake. But he abandoned the deal, partly because of fears around the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Twitter has insisted the deal should proceed. The terms include provision for a $1bn (£816m) break fee if the transaction collapses.