Elon Musk sells Tesla shares for nearly $7 billion

Elon Musk, whose net worth is about $250 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is compensated in stock awards and does not accept a salary from Tesla.


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Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Elon Musk sold Tesla for nearly $7 billion Inc.

TSLA -2.44%

shares in recent days, regulatory filings show, just months after he said he had no plans to sell any more shares in the company.

Musk, Tesla’s chief executive and largest shareholder, sold about 7.9 million shares between Friday and Tuesday, the disclosures show, leaving him with a 15% stake in the company.

The Tesla boss has been on a sales spree for the past year, during which he has paid out shares worth $32 billion in the electric car manufacturer. That includes sales of about $8.5 billion in April, while Musk lined up financing for a $44 billion deal to take over Twitter.

At the time, he tweeted: “No further TSLA sales are planned after today.”

Neither Tesla nor Musk responded to a request for comment.

If the judge were to force Mr. Musk to complete the transaction, he could be on the hook for more than $33 billion in equity financing, according to a regulatory filing. He already owns more than 9% of Twitter, worth about $4 billion at $54.20 a share, Mr. Musk’s buyout price.

Mr. Musk, whose net worth is about $250 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is compensated in stock awards and does not accept a salary from Tesla. He had long been reluctant to sell shares in the company, which could weaken his control. Much of last year’s sales were determined to cover tax withholding obligations related to the exercise of share options.

Last week, Tesla shareholders cleared the way for a 3-for-1 stock split that the company has said is designed to make ownership more accessible to employees and individual investors. The split will take effect on August 25 for shareholders registered on August 17, the company said last week.

Write to Rebecca Elliott at rebecca.elliott@wsj.com

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