Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold nearly $4 billion worth of shares in the electric-car company, SEC filings showed Tuesday, more than a week after he completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
Musk has been pushing for ways to pay off the massive deal for which he took on billions of dollars in debt and previously sold $15.5 billion worth of Tesla stock.
On Tuesday, SEC filings showed he sold more than 19 million shares worth more than $3.9 billion.
After a protracted back-and-forth between the world’s richest person and the influential social media company, Musk took control of Twitter in late October and fired its top executives.
The billionaire initially tried to back out of the deal after his unsolicited offer was accepted in April.
He said in July that he was terminating the contract because he had been misled by Twitter about the number of fake “bot” accounts, allegations the company denied.
After Musk tried to end the sale, Twitter filed a lawsuit to keep the entrepreneur in the agreement. With a pending trial, he revived his takeover plan.
– overhaul –
On Friday, Twitter laid off half of its 7,500 employees as the new owner launched an overhaul of the company.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 and stepped down as CEO last year, tweeted to apologize for the site growing too quickly following news of the layoffs.
Musk has been exploring ways the social media platform can make money after the buyout, including an idea to charge users $8 a month for verified accounts.
The move would help overcome a potential loss of advertisers, Twitter’s main source of revenue, after many top brands shelved their ad purchases over concerns about Musk’s well-known disdain for content controls.
Musk’s actions and remarks since taking the reins of Twitter have raised concerns, including warnings from the United Nations.
UN chief justice Volker Turk has urged Musk to make respect for human rights a priority for the social network.
Musk has insisted that content moderation remains a priority for Twitter and that he would set up a council dedicated to the task.
Musk’s decision to delist Twitter has allowed him to make big changes quickly, but it’s also left the company more indebted, a risky decision for a loss-making company.
© Agence France-Presse