Elon Musk sells $5bn Tesla shares after Twitter poll

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has sold around $5bn (£3.7bn) of shares in the electric carmaker.

It comes days after he asked his 63 million Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla.

The company’s shares fell by around 16% in the two days after the poll came out in favour of him selling shares, before regaining some ground on Wednesday.

Tesla is the world’s most valuable carmaker, with a stock market valuation of more than $1tn.

Mr Musk’s trust sold almost 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4bn.

He also sold another 934,000 shares for about $1.1bn after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2 million shares, according to filings with the US stock market regulator.

[Read also] Tweeps vote: Elon Musk should sell $21bn Tesla stake

The documents showed that the sale of about a fifth of the shares was made based on a pre-arranged trading plan set up in September, long before Mr Musk’s social media posts at the weekend about selling some of his shares.

However, the regulatory filings also showed that the sale of the remainder of the shares had not been scheduled.

The sales equate to about 3% of Musk’s total holdings in Tesla, though it has not been confirmed if 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 part of his stake in Tesla to meet his tax obligations.

“Much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.

“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.”

The poll attracted more than 3.5 million votes, with nearly 58% voting in favour of the share sale.

Mr Musk has been silent regarding any share sales since his Twitter poll.

(BBC)

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