Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, becomes the largest shareholder

Musk’s shareholding is more than four times the 2.25% stake held by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

According to a 13G filing published today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now owns 9.2 percent of Twitter, Bloomberg News reports. Musk purchased the stock on March 14th, according to the filing. Musk has long been a high-profile Twitter user, and he recently questioned his over 80 million followers on the platform’s commitment to free speech. Twitter’s stock price rose more than 25% in pre-market trading as a result of the announcement.

According to CNBC, Musk’s Twitter stocks were worth $2.89 billion based on Friday’s closing price. Although Musk’s shares are categorized as a passive investment, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told CNBC that the purchase “could lead to some sort of buyout.”

Musk had publicly questioned Twitter’s attitude to free speech on March 25th, via a poll on his Twitter account. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” the CEO asked, before adding in a follow-up tweet that “the consequences of this poll will be important.”

“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,”  Musk tweeted the next day, before publicly questioning the necessity for a “new platform.” Given that Musk bought a stock in Twitter on March 14th, it appears that these remarks were made after his decision to buy a stake.

Earlier this month, Musk declared himself a “free speech absolutist” after claiming that some governments instructed Starlink to limit access to Russian news outlets. “We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” he stated.

Musk’s use of Twitter has occasionally gotten him into trouble. He famously tweeted in 2018 that he had acquired the funds to take Tesla private if the stock reached $420 per share. After it was revealed that he had not secured funds for the sale, Musk was compelled by the Securities and Exchange Commission to have Tesla’s lawyers pre-approve any tweets about the company’s financial health, sales, and delivery numbers, among other things.

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Dan
1 month ago

Even with a majority share, it’ll only work if it’s a controlling share. Then Elon can sit in the boardroom and say “No more censorship on Twitter”.

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