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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Elon Musk: Tesla boss sells $1.1bn of shares in carmaker


Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has sold around $1.1bn (£820m) of shares in the electric carmaker.

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

The company’s stock dropped by about 16 percent in the two days following the poll’s positive outcome, before regaining some ground on Wednesday.

Tesla is the most valuable car company in the world, with a stock market valuation of more than $1 trillion.

Mr Musk sold more than 930,000 shares in the company, about 0.5% of his stake, according to filings with the US stock market regulator.

The documents also revealed that the sales were made in accordance with a pre-arranged trading plan established in September, long before Mr Musk’s weekend social media posts about selling some of his shares.

Mr Musk posted a Twitter poll on Saturday, asking his followers to vote on whether he should sell a portion of his Tesla stake to meet his tax obligations.

“Because much has been made recently of unrealised gains as a means of tax avoidance, I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.

“I will follow the results of this poll, no matter what.”

The poll received over 3.5 million votes, with nearly 58 percent in favour of the share sale.

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View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Musk also stated that Tesla does not pay him in cash: “I only have stock, so the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”

In this latest transaction, he exercised stock options granted to him by the automaker as part of his compensation package in 2012.

Income taxes are typically levied on such transactions, which are paid with proceeds from the immediate sale of some of the newly acquired shares.

It was his first stock sale since 2016, when he exercised his stock options. At the time, he also sold some of the shares to cover a nearly $600 million income tax bill.

Mr Musk still owns more than 170 million Tesla shares and is estimated to be worth more than $280 billion.

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