Elon Musk sells $7 billion in Tesla stock before the Twitter battle

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Elon Musk sells $7 billion in Tesla stock before the Twitter battle

Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion of shares in Tesla as the billionaire puts his finances in order ahead of his court battle with Twitter company.

In a series of regulatory filings, Musk revealed that he had divested about 8 million shares of his Tesla Inc. in the last days.

"In the event (which we hope is unlikely) that Twitter forces this deal to close and some of our equity partners have not concluded, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock," Musk wrote in a tweet late Tuesday.

Musk is the single largest shareholder in both Tesla and Twitter.

Tesla shares rose nearly 2% before the opening bell Wednesday. Twitter Inc. shares jumped. , which is up 16% in the past month, with most people believing Musk faces long odds of success in court, jumped another 3%.

Musk opposed Twitter last week, accusing the company of fraud over its $44 billion acquisition. He claimed that Twitter withheld critical information and misled his team about the size of its user base.

Musk offered to buy Twitter earlier this year, then tried to back out of the deal claiming that the social platform was riddled with more "spamware" and fake accounts than Twitter exposed.

Musk said in the spring that he had not planned a significant sale of his stake in Tesla after drumming up funding to acquire Twitter. Still, Dan Ives, an industry analyst at Wedbush, said on Wednesday that "the situation has changed dramatically."

Wedbush raised his price target for Twitter shares "with the possibility of a Twitter deal now in our view and seeing the street through this poker move by Musk," Ives wrote to clients.

"We could also see Musk trying to resolve this situation in a powder keg before the Twitter deal officially reaches court in October," Ives wrote. "At a minimum, we see that Twitter is getting a huge settlement from Musk in the $5 billion to $10 billion range, which is starting to factor into the stock."

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