Elon Musk increases his selloff of Tesla shares to $8.5 BILLION (2022)

Elon Musk sold off a total of $8.5 billion in Tesla shares in recent days, new regulatory filings on Friday showed.

The filings double the previously reported amount of the fire-sale, which Musk is presumably conducting in order to fund his $21 billion cash commitment in a deal to buyTwitterfor $44 billion.

Though Musk is the richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of$246 billion, most of his fortune is tied up in stock, and it had seemed clear he would have to sell off some assets to fund the Twitter takeover.

About half of Musk's selloff of Tesla shares was made on Tuesday. Musk sold another $4.4 billion in the stock on Thursday, the new filings show.

On Thursday night, after the first round of share sales became public, Musk tweeted: 'No further TSLA sales planned after today'.

Tesla stock, which dropped 12 percent as he made his initial stock dump earlier this week, popped 6 percent in morning trading on Friday following Musk's vow not to sell the remainder of his stake.

To complete the Twitter takeover, which is due to close by October, Musk has committed $21 billion in cash, $13 billion from Morgan Stanley in traditional bank loans and another $12.5 billion from the bank and others in margin loans.

Elon Musk sold off a total of more than $8.4 billion in Tesla shares in recent days, new regulatory filings on Friday showed

Even after the sale, Musk still owns about 16 percent of Tesla, a stake worth $143 billion

Tesla stock, which dropped 12 percent as he made his initial stock dump earlier this week, rose on Friday following Musk's vow not to sell the remainder of his stake

It's unclear why Musk decided to liquidate part of his 17 percent stake in Tesla so far in advance of the deal's expected closing date.

In total,sold about 9.6 million shares this week, according to the filings on Thursday and Friday, equating to 5.6 percent of his stake in the company. Musk still owns about 16 percent of Tesla, a stake worth $143 billion.

After taxes, Musk will make about $6.5 billion from his latest stock sale, and made about $3 billion in profit from another big sell-off late last year. That leaves roughly $10 billion in cash he will still need to meet his equity requirement for the Twitter deal.

It is not clear how he will cover the remaining equity financing. Musk holds a 44 percent stake in unlisted rocket company SpaceX that is reportedly valued at $100 billion.

Musk has been looking for partners to reduce his cash requirement for the Twitter deal, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding that it is far from certain such a partner will emerge.

This week's activity marks Musk's first Tesla stock sale since he offloaded $16.4 billion worth of shares in November and December, after polling Twitter users about selling 10 percent of his stake in the electric car maker.

Video: Tesla Stock SOARS As Elon Squeeze's Twitter’s 🍒s

Musk owed about $11 billion in taxes in 2021 due to his exercise of stock options set to expire this year, in addition to taxes on profits he realized in the stock sale.

On Friday morning, Musk issued another series of freewheeling tweets discussing politics and his plans for Twitter after he takes over.

'The far left hates everyone, themselves included!' he wrote, adding: 'But I’m no fan of the far right either. Let’s have less hate and more love.'

In another, he wrote, 'The people of Twitter strongly agree that Twitter needs to be fixed.'

Speculation is also mounting that Musk could move Twitter's headquarters from San Francisco to Texas after the deal closes.

Musk recently moved Tesla HQ to the Lone Star state, and his SpaceX has extensive operations at the Starbase launch site in South Texas.

Although Musk has made no mention of plans to relocate Twitter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended an invitation to move the company there, and a rancher outside of Austin offered to donate 100 acres for a new Twitter HQ.

Twitter has about 7,000 employees, but few are believed to be working at the San Francisco headquarters after the current management told staff they could continue working remotely forever.

Meanwhile, Musk is said to have told lenders he'll slash executive pay at Twitter and monetize tweets to make the firm more profitable before buying it for $44 billion.

Musk is said to have made the vow to banks before securing funding to buy the firm, with the deal announced Monday.

A Texas rancher in the tiny community of Schwertner (above) offered to donate 100 acres to Elon Musk if he used it to build a new headquarters for Twitter outside Austin

Currently, Twitter spends about $2.9 million in cash and stock awards to board members, according to a filing.

But the firm's top executives receive far more annually, and could also find their pay in the firing line.

CEO Parag Agrawal only took over in November, but is set to earn a cool $30 million in 2022, thanks largely to $29 million of stock options he was given as part of his promotion.

Video: YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOSE A LOT OF MONEY

Reuters reported that Musk already has Agrawal's replacement lined up, but did not say who it will be.

Agrawal, who took over from co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, has a'Change in Control' clause in his contract, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing Twitter's most recent proxy filing.

That would mean he receives a $38million payout if he's fired.

And Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's chief legal officer is also likely to face a huge pay cut - if she stays.

She earned a salary of $600,000 last, year, as well as a whopping $17 million in stock options. Musk has already taken Gadde - nicknamed the 'moral authority of Twitter' to task for censoring factual stories about Hunter Biden's laptop.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (left) and co-founder Jack Dorsey (right) also hold board seats. Dorsey said prior to Musk's takeover that he intended to step down in May, and Agrawal is also expected to leave. Both will get massive pay days thanks to their shares: Agrawal with $39 million, and Dorsey with $928 million

Elon Musk, 50, on Tuesday responded to a report about Twitter's lawyer Vijaya Gadde (left) crying at the news of his takeover. Gadde, who earned $17 million last year, could be among the executives to leave when Musk's deal is finalized

His total compensation for 2021 was $30.4 million, according to Twitter's proxy, largely in stock awards.

Dorseyis in line to receive a $978 million payout after Musk bought the social media network he created.

He owns 18,042,428 shares in the firm - equivalent to 2.4 per cent of the company - which Musk will now buy for $54.20 each, netting him close to a billion dollars.

The current chair of the board, Bret Taylor, is in line to receive a cash payout just over $3 million when the deal goes through.

He could also face being ousted.

Musk made the pitch to the lenders as he tried to secure debt for the buyout days after submitting his offer to Twitter on April 14, the sources told Reuters.

Chairman of the board, Bret Taylor, said of the deal: 'We believe it is the best path forward for stockholders'. He added that the board had 'conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal'

A Stanford professor, a banker and tech giants ... who is on Twitter's board?

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His submission of bank commitments on April 21 were key to Twitter's board accepting his 'best and final' offer.

Musk had to convince the banks that Twitter produced enough cash flow to service the debt he sought.

In the end, he clinched $13 billion in loans secured against Twitter and a $12.5 billion margin loan tied to his Tesla stock.

He agreed to pay for the remainder of the consideration with his own cash.

Musk's pitch to the banks constituted his vision rather than firm commitments, the sources said, and the exact cost cuts he will pursue once he owns Twitter remain unclear.

The plan he outlined to banks was thin on detail, the sources added.

Musk has tweeted about eliminating the salaries of Twitter's board directors, which he said could result in about $3 million in cost savings.

Twitter's stock-based compensation for the 12 months ending December 31, 2021 was $630 million, a 33 percent increase from 2020, corporate filings show.

In his pitch to the banks, Musk also pointed to Twitter's gross margin, which is much lower than peers such as Meta's Facebook and Pinterest, arguing this leaves plenty of space to run the company in a more cost-efficient way.

Bloomberg News reported earlier on Thursday that Musk specifically mentioned job cuts as part of his pitch to the banks.

One of the sources said that Musk will not make decisions on job cuts until he assumes ownership of the company later this year.

He went ahead with the acquisition without having access to confidential details on the company's financial performance and headcount.

Musk told the banks he also plans to develop features to grow business revenue, including new ways to make money out of tweets that contain important information or go viral, the sources said.

Elon Musk (pictured last year) is 'putting a lot of skin in the game' in his dramatic takeover attempt of Twitter, experts have warned

Ideas he brought up included charging a fee when a third-party website wants to quote or embed a tweet from verified individuals or organizations.

In a tweet earlier this month he subsequently deleted, Musk suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant's Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price, banning advertising and giving an option to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin.

Twitter's premium Blue service now costs $2.99 a month.

In another tweet he deleted, Musk said he wants to reduced Twitter's dependence on advertising for much of its revenue.

Musk, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $246 billion, has indicated he will support the banks in marketing the syndicated debt to investors, and that he may unveil more details of his business plan for Twitter then, the sources said.

Musk has also lined a up a new chief executive for Twitter, one of the sources added, declining to name the identity of that person.

Video: Tesla Stock Under Attack, Oversold, Buy Backs

The Tesla Inc chief executive also told the banks he will seek moderation policies on the social media platform that are as free as possible within the legal constraints of each jurisdiction Twitter operates, the sources said, a position that Musk has repeated publicly.

The $13 billion Twitter loan is equivalent to seven times Twitter's 2022 projected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. This was too risky for some banks who decided to participate only in the margin loan, the sources said.

Another reason some banks opted out is because they feared Musk's unpredictability could result in an exodus of talent from Twitter, harming its business, according to the sources.

The tycoon has already begun criticizing executives, including Twitter's top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, 48.

He issued a scathing tweet in response to reports Gadde, 48, had been crying at news of the deal.

He wrote: 'Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.'

Musk was referring to the suspension of the New York Post's account for its exclusive about Hunter Biden's laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Initially dismissed as 'misinformation' by liberal outlets and social media networks, the laptop and its contents have since been verified by many of the same publications.

Gadde - who's described as Twitter's 'moral authority' - broke down in tears on Monday, Politico reported.

She did so while briefing her team via videolink on the future of the company under Musk, following his $44 billion deal to takeover the company.

Her future at the firm now looks shaky after her latest behavior was brought to the attention of the notoriously ruthless Musk.

She was pivotal in the decision to ban Donald Trump from the platform for inciting unrest, and also played a key role in the decision to remove The New York Post's account when they tweeted their reporting into Hunter Biden's laptop.

Twitter initially froze the New York Post's main account after it published the story and demanded it delete tweets linking to the Biden articles.

It justified the ban by citing a prohibition of distributing hacked material, before backing down when the story was proven to be legitimate.

Musk vows to protect free speech, 'defeat spam bots', 'authenticate all humans' and 'enhance product with new features'... while Twitter bosses say they're 'proud' of their team for the deal

Elon Muskvowed to protect free speech on Twitter, 'defeat the spam bots' and 'authenticate all humans' as he welcomed the acquisition.

He also revealed he planned to 'enhance the product with new features' and 'make the algorithms open source to increase trust'.

He said: 'Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

'I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.

'Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.'

Meanwhile Twitter's board members - who voted unanimously in favor of the deal - said they were 'proud' of their team that worked on seeing it home.

Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor said: 'The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing.

'The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders.'

Video: Tesla Shares Down 21% Since Musk's Twitter Stake

And CEO Parag Agrawal added: 'Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.'

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