Elon Musk uses Twitter to make surprising business moves amid war

Since announcing his $44 billion Twitter buyout in April, Elon Musk has suffered several ugly bumps in the road. In May, the CEO of Tesla/Space X tweeted that he halted his buyout plans due to concerns about the number of spam accounts. Musk announced that his planned acquisition of the social media platform has been postponed indefinitely as “pending details support the calculation that spam/fake accounts actually make up less than 5% of users.” Many, including former President Donald Trump, believed Musk was merely using the bot accounts as an excuse to withdraw. As Trump wrote on his platform TRUTH Social (via Mashable), “There is no way Elon Musk will buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price,” and rhetorically asked, “Fake anyone?”

In fact, on July 8, Musk announced he wanted to end his buyout, claiming that Twitter violated the deal by lying about its spam accounts, according to CNBC. Twitter vehemently refuted this and sued Musk to force him to complete the acquisition. A damning statement in Twitter’s July lawsuit, according to CNN Business, alleged that Musk had “shirked his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the deal he signed no longer served his personal interests.” A few days later, a Delaware judge officially set an October date for their court case to begin, a much faster time than Musk wanted, according to the New York Times.

To prepare for the event that he does have to buy Twitter, Musk just made another shocking deal.

Elon Musk is selling millions of Tesla shares

Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in his Tesla company, likely as insurance ahead of his October trial against Twitter, according to USA Today. In a now-deleted Aug. 9 tweet, Musk wrote that these efforts were made “to avoid a fire sale of Tesla stock…in the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal through and some equity partners don’t go through with it.” (via USA Today).

According to a series of Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the Tesla CEO sold about 7.9 million shares between Aug. 5 and Aug. 9, according to Reuters. With a roughly 15% stake in Tesla stock, Musk remains Tesla Twitter’s largest single shareholder. Shares of Tesla were up nearly 2% through Aug. 10, and shares of Twitter Inc. continued their month-long uptrend, gaining another 3% in the past few days, according to USA Today. Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, attributed this to the public perception that Twitter is “more likely now” to finalize its deal with Musk, according to Reuters. According to Ives, investors now believe Musk will settle with Twitter for somewhere between $5 billion and $10 billion.

As for Musk, he maintained his always mischievous Twitter persona. When asked from a fan if only he could start his own social platform, Musk teased tweeted back“X.com.”

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