New Delhi: Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold around $5.5 billion in shares, days after posting a Twitter poll in which he said he would sell 10 percent of his Tesla stocks and sought to know if people would support him on this.
Musk had created the Twitter poll on November 7. He wrote: “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?”
More than 3.5 million people participated in the poll, 58 percent of whom supported the idea. He wrote in the same thread that he does not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere, and only has stock, thus the only way for him to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.
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
Musk sold $5.5 billion in Tesla shares, the billionaire reported in filings on Wednesday, reports said.
Tesla Shares Sale
Musk, in his first share sale since 2016, sold around 3.6 million shares in Tesla, media reports said. This is worth around $4 billion and could be considered as amounting to 10 percent of his stocks. In 2016, Musk sold some of his shares to cover an income tax bill of around $600 million.
He subsequently sold another 934,000 shares for $1.1 billion, under a pre-planned options arrangement to acquire nearly 2.2 million shares. This options arrangement sales had been planned in September, much before the poll was created. The sales of the option-related shares paid for associated taxes, the reports said.
Within two days of the poll being released, Tesla’s shares fell by around 16 per cent, but recovered 4.3 per cent on Wednesday. The company’s Frankfurt-listed shares rose 4.1 per cent to 953 euros ($1,102.05) in early trade Thursday, Reuters reported.
Musk has more than 20 million further stock options in Tesla, which will expire in August next year.
This week, Tesla lost around $150 billion in market value. Many of the stocks have been bought by retail investors. Trade orders on Fidelity’s brokerage website on Wednesday show that 58 per cent of them were for purchases, rather than sales.
Retail investors made net purchases of $157 million on Monday, reports quoted research firm Vanda Research as saying.
As part of an October rally, Tesla signed an agreement to sell 100,000 vehicles to rental car company Hertz.
Tesla shares make up a vast portion of Musk’s estimated fortune, which is more than $281 billion. Tesla stocks are worth more than $1 trillion.
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