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Elon Musk has disposed of enough shares to reach a target of reducing his stake in Tesla Inc. by 10%, the head of the electric-car leader said in an interview. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Elon Musk has disposed of enough shares to reach a target of reducing his stake in Tesla Inc. by 10%, the head of the electric-car leader said in an interview. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Elon Musk has disposed of enough shares to reach a target of reducing his stake in Tesla 10%, the head of the electric-car leader said in an interview. 

“I sold stock that should roughly make my total Tesla share sale roughly 10%,” he told satirical website Babylon Bee. 

Musk has been offloading Tesla stock since asking his Twitter followers in November whether he should sell some of his stake. The move is part of a plan to generate cash to cover an estimated tax bill of more than $10bn on stock options Musk is due to exercise.

He said in a Tweet that he would pay more than $11bn in taxes this year, hitting back at criticism from legislators such as senator Elizabeth Warren who called Musk a “freeloader” on social media. Warren and other leading Democrats allege billionaires such as Musk are avoiding paying taxes. 

“I don’t have any offshore accounts, I don’t have any tax shelters,” Musk said. He could do his taxes himself in just a few hours, he said. “Everything is extremely transparent.”

Latest official filing brings total disposals to $14.1bn.

The latest regulatory filings show Musk has sold yet more shares in Tesla for $528m, taking the total to about 13.5-million shares for about $14.1bn. His comments to Babylon Bee suggest he has since disposed of yet more stock. 

Tesla's share price fell by about a quarter since a peak on November 4, just before Musk’s Twitter poll, to which the majority of respondents answered “yes.” The stock rose 2.4% in premarket trade after closing at $938.53 in New York on Tuesday.

Musk, 50, is the world’s richest person, topping the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a fortune of $244.9bn. 

“I’m not sure it’s all that productive or interesting” to focus on his wealth, Musk said. “Essentially all of my net worth is just in SpaceX and Tesla stock, these two companies I helped create and have run now almost 20 years that have done a lot of useful things.”

Bloomberg

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