Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of shares Tesla this month to help finance an acquisition of Twitter — a deal he is fighting in court to avoid.
“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,” Musk said in a tweet late Tuesday regarding the latest sale of shares in his electric automaker.
Musk offered to buy Twitter in April for $44 billion, or $54.20 a share, in cash. But the market dipped along with Twitter stock, and he appeared to become concerned about the number of fake, or BOT, accounts on the platform, engaging in a tit-for-tat with CEO Parag Agrawal over Twitter’s disclosures or lack thereof. Early in July, Musk just tore up the deal. Twitter sued him and a speedy trial in Delaware Chancery Court is set for Oct. 17.
But before it got to this point, Musk had looked to raise cash to finance the deal by unloading $8.5 billion worth of shares of Tesla, which he founded and controls. That created an overhang on the stock and serious griping by other Tesla stockholders. He’d promised to stop.
The latest sale saw Musk divest about 7.92 million shares between Aug. 5-9.
Musk said he would buy the Tesla stock back if he wins the suit and doesn’t end up buying Twitter.
Musk’s attorneys had asked for a trial in February. The judge, however, agreed with the Twitter camp that the delay would or could cause irreparable harm to the business. Twitter argues that Musk just got cold feet but has no legal argument for abrogating the agreement.
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