Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has exercised all of his options expiring next year, signalling an end to his stock sales that triggered a fall in the share price of the world’s most valuable carmaker.
Mr Musk said last week that he would reach his target of selling about 10 per cent of his stake in Tesla “when the 10b preprogrammed sales complete,” likely referring to his options-related stock sales.
Since early November he has exercised options expiring next year and sold a portion of Tesla stock to pay tax under a “rule 10b5-1” trading plan set up in September.
With the option exercise on 1.6 million shares on Tuesday, he has exercised all of the options on 22.8 million shares, which are due to expire in August. He also sold 934,090 shares for $1.02 billion to pay for taxes, the filings showed.
“This rule 10b5-1 trading plan was completed on December 28, 2021,” Tesla said in filings on Tuesday.
Tesla shares lost about a quarter of their value after Mr Musk in November asked his followers on Twitter if he should sell 10 per cent of his holdings. They have rebounded to $1,088.47, but are still below the record closing high of $1,229.91 in November.
Musk has so far offloaded 15.7 million shares in Tesla, coming close to the 10 per cent stake the billionaire has pledged to sell.
Out of the 15.7 million shares, 10.3 million were related to the options exercise. Mr Musk sold an additional 5.4 million, cashing in on Tesla’s strong rally.
He has offloaded $16.4 billion worth of shares since early November when he said he would sell 10 per cent of his Tesla stocks if Twitter users agreed.
The Twitter poll came two days after Tesla shares hit a record high following a rally sparked by an order for Tesla cars from rental company Hertz.
The news comes as China called on the United States to protect a Chinese space station and its three-member crew after Beijing complained that satellites launched by Mr Musk’s SpaceX nearly struck the station.
A foreign ministry spokesman accused Washington earlier this week of ignoring its treaty obligations to protect the safety of the Tiangong station’s three-member crew following July 1st and October 21st incidents.
The Tiangong performed “evasive manoeuvres” to “prevent a potential collision” with Starlink satellites launched by Space Exploration Technologies, the government said in a December 6th complaint to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
The US should “take immediate measures to prevent such incidents from happening again”, said the spokesman Zhao Lijian. He accused Washington of failing to carry out its obligations to “protect the safety of astronauts” under a 1967 treaty on the peaceful use of space.
The American embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment. – Reuters and PA