Elon Musk Pays $2.89bn for 9.2% Stake in Twitter
By Adedapo Adesanya
The world’s richest man, Mr Elon Musk, has taken a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, paying $2.89 billion for the transaction, according to several reports.
The Tesla founder bought 73,486,938 Twitter shares on March 14, according to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, sending the equity price of the tech giant higher by about 25 per cent.
The stake makes him one of the largest shareholders in the company and is more than four times the 2.25 per cent holding of the founder of Twitter, Mr Jack Dorsey.
Mr Musk is a regular Twitter user with more than 80 million followers, although recently, he said he is giving serious thought to building a new social media platform.
Late last month, Mr Musk asked his followers whether they thought the social media platform encouraged free speech.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” he asked, further querying, “Is a new platform needed?”
He regularly uses Twitter to share updates from the companies he owns – including SpaceX and Neuralink.
He is also known for sharing memes, adding to his popularity among fans but he has drawn controversy.
Last year, he tweeted in response to a claim made by the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that just 2 per cent of Mr Musk’s wealth could help to solve world hunger.
In October, Mr Musk said he would sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and donate it to the WFP provided it could describe exactly how the amount will solve world hunger.
Also, Mr Musk saw the valuation of his Tesla car company surpass a market value of $1 trillion last year, making it the fifth such firm to reach the milestone after Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google-owner Alphabet.
Soon after, he took to Twitter to ask users if he should sell a 10 per cent stake in the electric carmaker.
More than 3.5 million Twitter users voted, with nearly 58 per cent voting in favour of the share sale leading to Mr Musk selling around $5 billion of shares in the firm in November.