On Twitter, the Tesla CEO said the sale was made to avoid “an emergency sale of Tesla stock” in the event that Twitter forces him to go through with his proposed $44 billion acquisition of the social media company—a deal he now wants to walk away from.
But the timing of his transactions suggests he also cashed out right after Tesla stock surged to a three-month high. The SEC filings show Musk sold 7.9 million Tesla shares between August 5 and August 9 at a price between $840 and $890 per share. That represented a 40 percent gain since late May, when Tesla stock plummeted to a six-month low following Musk’s proposed Twitter takeover. Tesla investors at the time dumped their shares out of fear that Musk would sell large amounts of Tesla shares to fund the Twitter deal.