Elon Musk officially sells 10% of Tesla shares after losing controversial Twitter poll

Tesla share price dropped sharply after poll results

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 11 November 2021 00:29
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Tesla Shares Move as Elon Musk Hints at Massive Tax Bill

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Elon Musk has officially sold the 10 per cent of his Tesla shares he promised to after losing a controversial Twitter poll.

The electric vehicle manufacturer filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday that confirmed the entrepreneur had sold the stock.

The sale of a large chunk of Mr Musk’s shares comes after he put up a Twitter poll, with users casting 3.5m votes by a margin of 58 per cent to 42 per cent for him to sell.

As a result of the poll, Tesla’s stock plummeted on Monday and Tuesday, wiping off around $300bn worth of value from the automaker’s more than $1 trillion valuation.

The S-4 form filed by Tesla confirms that the sale of 2,154,572 shares took place on 8 November, when the value of a share in the company closed at 1,162.94, according to Teslarati.

The company also filed an 2-4 form saying that the world’s richest man had exercised the option on 2,154,572 shares at a value of $6.24 per share.

Investors are required to file the S-4 forms within two days of the transaction.

“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” Mr Musk wrote after the results of the Twitter poll came in.

Mr Musk owned around 23 per cent of Tesla before the sale, and following it still owns more than 20 per cent of the company, which is worth around $250bn.

He is expected to receive “a big tax bill coming due from his 23 million stock options awarded in 2012 that have vested and expire in August 2022 and he was going to sell some stock before year-end,”, according to Wedbush Securities stock analyst Dan Ives.

Mr Ives said that investors expected Mr Musk to sell between five and six per cent of his shareholding to cover his future tax liability.

“We would rather Musk rip the Band-Aid off now and sell this portion of stock rather than it lingering over the next year and feeding into any non-fundamental bear thesis on the story,” he told USA Today.

Mr Musk has previously said on Twitter that he does not take a salary or bonus from Tesla, and that his only way of paying an outstanding tax bill is to sell his stock.

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