JUST IMAGINE: Elon Musk sells US$5bn in Tesla shares following Twitter poll – see details
Musk took to Twitter on November 7 to ask his 63.2 million followers whether he should shed 10% of his holding in the electric vehicle giant
Tesla Inc – Elon Musk sells US$5bn Tesla shares following Twitter poll
Elon Musk is currently the world’s richest person.
Billionaire Tesla chief executive Elon Musk officially sold around US$5bn worth of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock following a recent Twitter poll.
Musk took to the social media platform on November 7 to ask his 63.2 million followers whether he should shed 10% of his holding in the electric vehicle giant.
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
Nearly 58% of respondents voted in favour of the move and following the poll, Musk’s trust sold nearly 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around US$4bn.
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Musk also exercised 2.15 million stock options before offloading 934,000 Tesla shares, raising a further US$1.1bn.
But it appears the poll was an elaborate ruse: filings released by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicate Musk set up an automatic plan to sell the stock in mid-September.
Bloomberg News columnist and former investment banker Matt Levine tweeted about the regulatory easter egg earlier today.
he set up an automatic plan to sell stock *in September*. then this weekend he tweeted “hmm should i sell stock, i dunno, here’s a poll.” the poll closed Sunday. the automatic plan kicked in on Monday.
— Matt Levine (@matt_levine) November 11, 2021 The world’s most expensive tweet
Elon isn’t the first Musk to sell a Tesla stake in recent days.
His brother Kimbal offloaded some shares right before the poll went live, triggering the worst two-day rout on Tesla shares in 14 months.
The electric car manufacturer shed US$199bn in value on the back of Elon’s tweet and his sibling’s sale.
Michael Burry, the analyst who inspired 2015 blockbuster The Big Short, also weighed in this week, speculating Musk may want to sell stocks to cover his personal debts.
“Regarding what Elon Musk needs to sell because of the proposed unrealised gains tax, or to #solveworldhunger. There is the matter of the tax-free cash he took out in the form of personal loans backed by 88.3 million of his shares at June 30,” the investor tweeted.
Nevertheless, it seems the slide in TSLA value is just a drop in the ocean compared to the stock’s broader returns: Tesla is currently up 160.25% for the year.
Musk is currently the world’s richest person — a title often volleyed between Amazon magnate Jeff Bezoz and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
He could also become earth’s first trillionaire, according to a prediction from analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
But Musk’s future fortunes are forecast to predominantly come from his space exploration business, SpaceX, a key supplier of rocket services to Nasa and private satellite companies.