(RTTNews) – Tesla Inc. founder and CEO Elon Musk has sold some of his stake in the luxury electric car maker to avoid an emergency sale of its stock in the event of a forceful Twitter deal. Twitter Inc. and Tesla shares were gaining more than 4 percent in the pre-market activity on the NYSE and Nasdaq, respectively, following the news.
Musk, who is facing a legal battle for his intended withdrawal from planned $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform, also confirmed the sale in a twitter post.
As per filings published by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk sold around 7.9 million shares in Tesla on August 5, 8 and 9. The shares reportedly were worth around $6.88 billion.
Musk said “yes” in a twitter post when he was asked by a Twitter user whether he had done selling Tesla shares.
Responding to @SawyerMerritt, Musk said, “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.”
It was in late April that Twitter agreed to accept Musk’s offer for $54.20 per share in cash and to become a privately held company. However, Musk sought to back out from the deal later without paying a $1 billion breakup fee, citing Twitter’s failure to provide details about the prevalence of bot and spam accounts.
Twitter sued him four days later, accusing him of sabotaging the merger because it no longer served his interests, and demanding he complete the merger.
A judge has set October to start a five-day trial in Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk regarding the acquisition deal.
In pre-market activity on the NYSE, Twitter shares were trading at $44.27, up 3.36%.
Tesla shares were also gaining around 5 percent at $891.00 in pre-market activity on Nasdaq.