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Elon Musk sells $8.4 bn in Tesla shares after Twitter deal

Tesla chief Elon Musk sold about $8.4 billion worth of shares in the electric carmaker in the days after Twitter’s board agreed to his $44 billion takeover offer, according to US securities filings.

Musk unloaded about 9.6 million Tesla shares in a series of transactions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to filings Thursday and Friday morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US market regulator.

The transactions, generally priced between $800 and $995 per share, following Monday’s announcement he would acquire Twitter and take it private in a deal that relies heavily on Musk’s personal fortune.

Following these sales, Musk, the world’s richest person, holds around 163 million shares in Tesla, via a trust.

“No further TSLA sales after today,” Elon Musk tweeted late Thursday, using Tesla’s stock symbol.

To finance his takeover of Twitter, which was confirmed Monday, Musk has pledged up to $21 billion from his personal fortune, with the rest financed by debt.

Twitter shares rose 1.6 percent to $49.77 in morning trading Friday.

That is still well below Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share in the deal, a discrepancy that market watchers say points to the risk the deal will not close.

Some analysts have expressed doubts over whether the deal will be completed, including questions about the financing and concerns that Twitter would distract Musk from running Tesla.

Tesla shares, which have plummeted throughout the week, rose 4.4 percent Friday to $916.30.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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