Tesla billionaire Elon Musk sold off $6.9 billion of the company’s shares last week as Twitter threatens to force him to follow through with the buy-out deal.
Musk bartered off another 7.92 million in shares of the electric car company after Tesla’s annual shareholders’ meeting last week.
He now owns around 15 percent of the company in total according to Reuters.
The move comes after Musk dropped his $44 billion bid to buy the social media giant after he accused Twitter chiefs of withholding information about data concerning the number of fake or ‘bot’ accounts using the site.
The number of ‘real’ users is important when considering the reach and engagements paid adverts on the website might accumulate and thus is vital for the commercial and financial aspects of Twitter.
But Twitter executives dismissed the claims and announced it would be taking Musk to court to force the sale through as it says he would be in breach of their deal if he refused to go through with it.
BREAKING: Elon Musk has filed a total of six Form 4s with the SEC tonight showing that he sold 7,924,107 $TSLA shares worth about $6.9 Billion.
Weighted average price was $869.09.
The sales took place on August 5th, 8th and 9th. pic.twitter.com/SueP2AYGNR
— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) August 10, 2022
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The Twitter-Musk agreement is a lengthy document. It basically states that if the sale does not go ahead, Musk must pay a $1 billion divorce fee, but it also requires “specific performance,” meaning that Musk must prove he was misled or that a “material adverse event” occurred before he is able to get out of going through with the sale.
Musk then fired a counter-claim which alleged that Twitter had purposefully misled him about the number of fake accounts.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” the SpaceX CEO wrote on his Twitter page last Tuesday.
Musk will likely use the money from the shares as a fall-back in case Twitter forces the sale through. Losing the court case could also mean a drastic slump in Tesla’s stock price.
Fortunately for the richest man on the planet, Tesla share prices have seen a 15 percent rise in recent weeks, partly due to Biden’s announcement of his climate bill that would lift the cap on tax credits for electric cars.
Many free speech advocates were disappointed that Musk, who is a vocal advocate for the peaceful expression of views without censorship, did not take over control of the social media giant.
Numerous undercover footage of Twitter high-ups expressing radically left-wing views and bragging about the company singling out right-wing accounts to censor has emerged in recent months.
In May, top Twitter engineer, Siru Murugesan was caught on video bragging that the company “does not believe in free speech”, that everyone who works there is “commie as f**k” and that they “hate” Elon Musk.
Twitter infamously perma-banned former President Donald Trump from using the site after some of his supporters raided the Capitol Building on January 6 – although it should be noted that Biden remains on Twitter despite his support for the Black Lives Matter riots in the run-up to his presidential campaign in 2020.
Trump has since launched his own pro-free speech platform called Truth Social.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2022
Musk teased that he may follow suit and create yet another rival platform that would undoubtedly champion free speech.
When a Twitter user asked if the billionaire would consider owning his own site, Musk simply replied, “X.com”.