Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold nearly 8 million shares of his company stock in recent days in transactions worth an estimated $6.88 billion, according to federal regulatory documents filed this week by the world’s richest man. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold nearly 8 million shares of his company stock in recent days in transactions worth an estimated $6.88 billion, according to federal regulatory disclosures filed this week by the world's richest man.
The move by Musk comes ahead of a legal battle with Twitter over the billionaire's unfulfilled promise to buy the company.
Transaction reports show Musk began selling the stock Friday, one day after Tesla's annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas.
Musk made a final sale on the same day he filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The billionaire has been steadily selling stock following an April 28 tweet in which he said "No further TSLA sales planned after today."
SEC filings that same week showed Musk had sold $8.4 billion in Tesla shares soon after he pledged to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
In July, Musk backed out of the deal, and Twitter sued, setting up a five-day trial that will head to court in October.
News of the most recent stock sale led some of Musk's Twitter fans to seek insight, with one tagging the CEO in a post asking if the billionaire was "done selling," and Musk responded, "Yes."
"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," Musks replied in a tweet at 10:53 p.m. Tuesday.
He did not offer any specifics.
Several months ago, Musk was known to have financial backing stemming from as many as 19 partnerships around the world involving venture capital and cryptocurrency.
Musk recently said he would buy back some Tesla shares if he succeeds in nixing the deal with Twitter, and added he may even launch his own social media site called X.com.