“Street will read through this poker move that chances of Twitter deal more likely now,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, tweeted.

In other comments on Twitter on Tuesday, Musk said “yes” when asked if he was done selling Tesla stock, and also said he would buy Tesla stock again if the Twitter deal does not close.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Musk, the world’s richest person, sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in April and had said at the time there were no further sales planned. But since then, legal experts had suggested that if Musk is forced to complete the acquisition or settle the dispute with a stiff penalty, he was likely to sell more Tesla shares.

Musk sold about 7.92 million shares between 5 August and 9 August, according to multiple filings. He now owns 155.04 million Tesla shares or just under 15 per cent of the automaker according to Reuters calculations.

The latest sales bring total Tesla stock sales by Musk to about $32 billion in less than one year.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 15 per cent since the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings on 20 July, also helped by the Biden administration’s climate bill that, if passed, would lift the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles.

Musk also teased on Tuesday that he could start his own social media platform. When asked by a Twitter user if he had thought about creating his own platform if the deal didn’t close, he replied: “X.com”