NEW YORK, April 29 — Tesla chief Elon Musk sold about US$8.4 billion worth of shares in the electric carmaker in the days after Twitter’s board agreed to his US$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 US$800 and US$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 yesterday, using Tesla’s stock symbol.

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

Twitter shares rose 1.6 per cent to US$49.77 in morning trading today.

That is still well below Musk’s offer of US$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 per cent today to US$916.30. — AFP