Musk’s filings did not disclose the reason for the stock sales. But after someone on Twitter asked him if he was done selling Tesla shares, he responded “Yes” and then pointed to the possibility of being forced to buy Twitter as the reason for this latest sale.
When someone else asked on Twitter Tuesday if he would repurchase Tesla shares if the Twitter deal does not close, he replied “Yes.”
“This is the last thing Tesla investors wanted to see,” said Daniel Ives, tech analyst for Wedbush Securities. “The biggest fear has been that Musk sells more stock, and that’s what just happened. It’s a near-term gut punch. There’s no explanation and that adds to the uncertainty.”
Even with the latest stock sales, Musk owns 155 million shares of Tesla, and has options to buy nearly 100 million more at a fraction of current prices. The shares he owns, combined with the options he holds to buy other shares, gives him control over about 20% of Tesla outstanding shares. And the 7.9 million shares he just sold represent less than 3% of the shares and options he holds.