Elon Musk, the world’s ‘richest billionaire’, has pocketed a cool US$5bn of cash from selling a load of his Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares – perhaps, if it’s burning a hole in his pocket, he might buy a new rocket or maybe plunge it all into meme-coins.
Musk yesterday sold some US$5bn of Tesla shares.
The market already suspects it will, in part, cover tax obligations following a recent exercise of mind-bending in-the-money options that were originally written in 2012 (this week he took up some 2.1mln shares at US$6.24 each, whilst the market price was over US$1,000).
The share sales equate to 3% of his stake in Tesla and it puts the South African-born entrepreneur well on the way to divesting 10% of his Tesla stock, which is what he said he would do based on the outcome of his recent Twitter poll.
Musk said he would “abide by the results” but it remains to be seen if he will fully follow it through.
To state the obvious, Musk is an incredibly wealthy individual – according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s index he is worth close to US$300bn (that’s about US$100bn more than number-two Jeff Bezos) – but most of that estimated net wealth is on-paper, based on the value of his Tesla shares.
Musk doesn’t need to reinvest, but, if the increasingly liquid billionaire did, where would he put it?
What companies does Musk own?
The Tesla chief executive now holds 17% stake in the electric vehicle company which after recently reached a trillion-dollar valuation.
His personal stake in the company, therefore, comes in at approximately US$177bn.
Another of his companies, Solar City, is now called Tesla Energy after being snapped up in 2016 and included in the car company’s valuation.
Musk is also CEO and a major shareholder in SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation top give it its full name, the rocket-making company which is said to be worth approximately US$100bn following a recent share sale.
The South African billionaire owns about 48% of SpaceX.
Musk founded the Boring Company in 2017, an American infrastructure and underground tunnel construction company, which reached US$1bn in value in 2019, according to Bloomberg, though it would likely find a much higher public valuation now.
Precisely how much of the Boring Company Musk owns has not recently been disclosed but at the time of the share sale he had around 90% of the equity.
What cryptos does Musk own?
On Twitter, where Musk tends to disclose such things, he said in October that the only three cryptocurrencies he owns are Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.
More recently though, Tesla has also reportedly been building a Bitcoin treasury and this summer, in July, one Twitter user estimated that the car company owned approximately 42,000 Bitcoins, to which Musk replied “we don’t have that many Bitcoins, but it’s close”.
Based on Bitcoin’s current price of US$65,000, and assuming he owns 40,000 Bitcoins, Musk would be in control of approximately US$2.6bn of the leading cryptocurrency.
Musk has been less open when talking publicly about the quantities of Ethereum and Dogecoin he holds, though in July he announced he owned “much more bitcoin” than ether or doge.
It’s all crypto, so the actual numbers are obscure.
Nonetheless, online sleuthing and speculation pointed to one particular crypto wallet that bought 150,000 Doge tokens immediately prior to Musk’s DOGE-related Tweet, that same wallet that’s thought by many to be Elon’s was said to hold more than 2.5mln Dogecoin.
There’s no way to actually know and he could easily have multiple wallets.
Musk this summer, in June, painted himself as a perma-bull for the meme-coin as he said publicly that he “[has] not and won’t sell any DOGE”.