Elon Musk has sold a further $3.6bn(£2.9bn) worth of shares in Tesla, in the same week that he lost the title of the world’s richest man to France’s Bernard Arnault.
The disposal, revealed in a regulatory filing, takes the total amount raised by Musk from sales of his stock in the electric carmaker this year to more than $20bn.
The Tesla CEO has been raising funds to pay for his $44bn acquisition of Twitter, although the filing did not give a purpose for the sale of 22m shares between Monday and Wednesday this week.
Forbes and Bloomberg, which monitor the wealth of billionaires, reported this week that Musk was no longer the world’s richest man, having been overtaken by Arnault, the chief executive of luxury group LVMH. According to Bloomberg, Musk is worth $161bn and Arnault, who presides over brands including Louis Vuitton and Dom Pérignon, is worth $172bn.
Musk’s wealth briefly slipped below Arnault’s last week before he reclaimed top spot, only to lose it again this week. The bulk of Musk’s wealth is largely represented by stock in Tesla, in which he has a shareholding of more than 13%, according to data provider Refinitiv.
Tesla’s stock price has halved this year, underperforming automakers and the broader tech-heavy Nasdaq, which is down about 30% this year.
Up to 23 November this year, Musk has sold 72.2m Tesla shares at an average price of $268 a share, generating pre-tax proceeds of $19.4bn, according to VerityData. This week’s sales would take that total to around $23bn.
Musk put in more than $20bn of his own money to buy Twitter in October, alongside $7.1bn from associates and about $4bn from his existing stake in the social media platform.
However, he also controls other valuable businesses, including his rocket company SpaceX, which is reportedly in talks about a share offering that could value it at up to $150bn.
Alongside Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX, Musk’s other business concerns include the tunneling firm the Boring Company and Neuralink, a startup developing interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.