Elon Musk
Elon Musk Apologizes To Norway Government Over Fake Nigeria Twitter Label NTB: Carina Johansen via Reuters

Elon Musk is no longer the world's richest man and has been overtaken at the top spot by Bernard Arnault.

After the value of his shares in his electric car company Tesla witnessed a sharp drop this year, Elon Musk's position as the world's richest man has been overtaken by Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury goods group LVMH, BBC reported.

Musk, who is the chief executive and the largest shareholder in Tesla, with a reported stake of about 14% is now worth about $178bn. Meanwhile, Bernard Arnault has a value of $188bn.

After building a stake in Twitter, Musk made his $44bn offer in April and completed the takeover of the social network Twitter in Oct. Musk's Twitter deal was completed after months of legal wrangling. Some have cited the distraction of the takeover as one of the factors behind Tesla's share price fall, the Guardian reported.

Shares in Tesla were trading at $340.79 on April. 13, the day before Twitter revealed in a securities filing that Musk had made a hostile bid worth $43.4bn. Since then, the Tesla share price has tumbled by more than 50%. It is currently trading at about $160.

Later, in July, he pulled out of the deal, citing concerns over the number of fake accounts on the platform. However, Twitter executives took legal action to hold Musk to his offer.

The "circus" surrounding the Twitter deal has weighed on Tesla's share price.

"Musk has gone from a superhero to Tesla's stock, to a villain in the eyes of the Street, as the overhang grows with each tweet," Dan Ives from investment firm Wedbush Securities said.

"The Twitter circus show has hurt the Musk brand and it's a major overhang on Tesla's stock. Musk is Tesla and Tesla is Musk."

Musk also sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares to help fund his purchase. This also pushed the shares down.

Tesla has also been hit by recalls, as well as government probes of crashes and its autopilot feature. Investors have also been concerned that the demand for the company's electric cars may slow down in the future as the economy weakens. They suspect that higher borrowing costs may discourage buyers and other companies may boost their electric vehicle offerings.

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