Tesla’s shares plunged nearly 15 percent at one point as the largest external shareholders cut their holdings.

Tesla shares closed down nearly 6 percent on Wednesday, falling nearly 15 percent at one point, their biggest drop in more than five months. Balerie Gifford, Tesla’s largest outside shareholder and a British investment fund, has reduced its stake after a sharp rise in Tesla’s share price had a big impact on its stake.

Tesla's shares plunged nearly 15 percent at one point as the largest external shareholders cut their holdings.Tesla's shares plunged nearly 15 percent at one point as the largest external shareholders cut their holdings.

Baillie Gifford currently owns less than 5 percent of Tesla, down from 6.32 percent previously, according to securities and Exchange Commission filings filed Wednesday.

Baillie Gifford said in a statement that it remained Tesla’s long-term “believer” and that the sell-off was due only to portfolio constraints.

“Tesla’s share price has risen sharply, which means we need to reduce our holdings,” the statement said. We intend to remain a major shareholder in Tesla for years to come, and we remain optimistic about the company’s future. Tesla no longer faces any difficulty raising capital from outside sources, but if Tesla’s share price falls sharply, we’ll still be happy to see that opportunity. “

Tesla's shares plunged nearly 15 percent at one point as the largest external shareholders cut their holdings.

As of Wednesday’s close, Tesla shares were down 5.83 percent at $447.37 and had a market capitalization of $416.8 billion. Tesla’s shares have risen more than 465 percent so far this year.