In a SEC filing issued last night, Tesla confirmed that Musk sold the shares at $213.22 for a total of just over $593 million. After the transaction, Musk’s stake in Tesla stands at 31,100,644 shares worth just over $7 billion.
When the CEO of a company sells a large amount of shares, it is generally perceived as a bad sign, but in this case, Tesla makes an effort to highlight that Musk is selling the shares “solely in order to pay income taxes related to previously reported stock option exercises” and that he is overall a net buyer in the transaction. Tesla is referring to two different occasions in the past few months when Musk exercised over $100 million worth of stock options, but he didn’t sell any at the time to cover the taxes.
It’s not clear how much taxes Musk will have to pay exactly, but the last exercised price was $6.63 per share so he had to pay $36,491,334 to acquire the shares in the first place – leaving around $557 million. Considering he will have to pay a normal income tax rate (52% in California) on the net gain of over $200 million in the previous two transactions and over $1.1 billion in the one closed this week, but after a donation of 1.2 million shares worth over $250 million to charity, it’s not difficult to believe Tesla’s claim that all proceeds from Musk’s stock sale will go toward paying taxes.