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Elon Musk sold $4 billion in Tesla shares as he moves to complete Twitter takeover

FILE - Elon Musk founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX speaks during a news conference
FILE - Elon Musk founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX speaks during a news conference   -   Copyright  AP Photo/John Raoux, File
By Euronews and AP

Elon Musk has sold 4.4 million shares of Tesla stock worth roughly $4 billion (€3.7 billion), most likely to help fund his purchase of Twitter.

Musk reported the sale in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The shares were sold over the past few days, at prices ranging from $872.02 (€824) to $999.13 (€945).

The world’s richest man, who is the CEO of Tesla, tweeted that he doesn't plan any further sales of the company's shares.

Most of the sales took place on Tuesday, when Tesla shares closed down 12 per cent, a huge single-day drop.

Analysts said Tesla investors fear Musk will be distracted by Twitter and less engaged in running the electric car company.

Twitter agreed to be acquired by Musk on Monday for $44 billion (€41 billion).

It appeared that Musk would borrow up to $25.5 billion (€24 billion) from a slew of banks to pay for the takeover of Twitter, but the stock sale potentially could fund some of that.

Musk's Twitter deal still needs to be approved

The deal to buy Twitter at $54.20 (€51.27) per share was announced earlier this week and is expected to close sometime this year. 

But before the deal is completed, shareholders and regulators will have to approve it.

If Musk fails to secure enough funding to complete his deal to buy Twitter, he would have to pay the social media platform a termination fee of $1 billion (€945 million), according to a regulatory filing out Tuesday.

But the same filing revealed Twitter would owe Musk a $1 billion break-up fee if it accepts a competing offer, or if shareholders reject the deal.

So far though, few hurdles are expected, despite objections from some of Twitter’s own employees and from users who worry about Musk’s stance on free speech and what it might mean for harassment and hate speech on the platform.