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November 8, 2021

Musk Twitter poll backs stake sale

Tesla share price drifts down after poll by Elon Musk on Twitter backs share sale.

By David Leggett

Tesla’s share price on the Frankfurt stock exchange has drifted down today after Elon Musk has suggested he would sell around 10% of his stock if a poll of Twitter users said he should.

Musk tweeted on Saturday that he would offload 10% of his stock if users of the social media network approved the proposal.

The Twitter poll asking Musk’s followers if he should sell stock garnered more than 3.5 million votes, and 58% of people voted “Yes”.

US-listed shares are also expected to take a hit later today when the Nasdaq opens.

“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” Musk said, after the voting ended.

Tesla’s share price has soared in recent years and 10% of Musk’s stock would amount to around $20 billion.

Including stock options, Musk owns a 23% stake in Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company with a market cap of $1.21 trillion.

Musk had previously said he would have to exercise a large number of stock options in the next three months, which would create a big tax bill. Observers note that selling some of his stock would also free up funds for Musk to pay taxes that would arise from exercising stock options. He has come under some criticism for alleged tax avoidance – he takes no salary but has made considerable compensation gains through stock options related to share price targets.

In the US there are proposals to create a ‘billionaires tax’ targeting unrealised wealth gain through stock options for extremely wealthy individuals.

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