Tesla CEO Elon Musk is once again selling shares of his electric vehicle company, according to regulatory filings. As of Friday, the CEO had sold 7.9 million shares, worth a total of about $6.9 billion. It’s the first time Musk has sold Tesla stock since April, when he sold 9.6 million shares worth about $8.5 billion.
Musk appears to be selling shares to raise cash if he is forced to go through with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. The CEO tweeted Tuesday night that he was done selling for now.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners do not come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla shares,” Musk tweeted.
Last month, Musk told Twitter he was canceling the deal because he believed the social media company was misleading its bot calculations. However, over the weekend the CEO got a little confused, tweeting: “If Twitter simply provides its method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are verified to be real, the deal should be on original terms. But if their SEC filings turn out to be materially false, then they shouldn’t.”
Musk also tweeted Tuesday night that he would buy back his shares if the Twitter deal doesn’t go through. He may wait until Tesla issues the three-for-one stock split Tesla shareholders approved last week so he can buy them out cheaply.
Over the past ten months, Musk has sold about $32 billion in Tesla stock.
Shares of Tesla are down 2.44% today, but are trading relatively flat after hours, indicating that the share sell-off is yet to impact Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s stock took a hit late last year when Musk sold more than $16 billion in sales after asking his fans on Twitter whether he should reduce his stake, landing him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the stock market.
This article has been updated with confirmation from Elon Musk that the stock sale is related to his purchase of Twitter.