Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $3.95bn after Twitter takeover

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World’s richest person sold 19.5 million shares of the electric car company after he bought Twitter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold $3.95bn worth of Tesla shares, according to US regulatory filings, days after he bought Twitter for $44bn.

Musk sold 19.5 million shares of the electric car company between Friday and Tuesday, US Securities and Exchange Commission data showed on Tuesday.

The latest sale drops the world’s richest person’s net worth below $200bn, leaving him with a stake of roughly 14 percent in Tesla, according to a calculation by Reuters news agency. The purpose of the sale was not disclosed.

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Since April, including Tuesday’s fillings, Musk has sold more than $19bn worth of stocks in Tesla, reportedly to fund his share of the Twitter purchase.

Musk said in April that he was done selling Tesla stock but sold another $6.9bn worth of shares in August.

Tesla has lost nearly half its market value and Musk’s net worth slumped by $70bn ever since he bid for Twitter in April.

Twitter takeover

Musk’s takeover of Twitter last month has been controversial as he has engaged in drastic measures, including firing half of its employees, and a plan to charge for blue check verification marks.

On November 1, Musk fired Twitter’s board of directors, giving himself unfettered control over the social media giant, according to a company filing.

A self-described “free-speech absolutist”, he tried to walk away from the deal in May, alleging Twitter understated the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

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