Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has traded approximately $5 billion (£3.7 billion) in shares in the electric carmaker.
It comes just 1 day after he asked his 63 million Twitter followers to sell 10% of his Tesla stock. The company’s stock dropped by almost 16 % in the two days following the poll’s positive result before regaining some ground on Wednesday.
Tesla is the most high-priced car company globally, with a stock market valuation of more than $1 trillion. Mr. Musk’s trust sold nearly 3.6 million Tesla shares worth approximately $4 billion.
According to filings with the United States stock market regulator, he also sold another 934,000 shares for approximately $1.1 billion after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2 million shares. The documents revealed that about a fifth of the shares were sold based on a pre-arranged trading plan established in September, long before Mr. Musk’s weekend social media posts about selling some of his shares.
However, regulatory filings revealed that the sale of the remaining shares had not been scheduled. The sales amount to approx 3% of Musk’s total Tesla holdings, though it has not been confirmed whether the sale was related to his weekend Twitter poll or if he intends to stagger further sales.
On Saturday, Mr. Musk posted a poll asking his followers to vote on whether he should sell a part of his stake in Tesla to meet his tax obligations. “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.
As part of the latest transaction, he exercised stock options granted to him by the automaker as part of his benefits package in 2012. It was his first stock sale since 2016 when he exercised his stock options. He also sold some of the stock at the time to settle a nearly $600 million tax bill.
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