Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder

Tesla and SpaceX founder acquired a 9.2% stake for $3 billion

Elon Musk has purchased 9.2% of Twitter’s shares, in an operation that cost him about $2.89 billion. The announcement came thanks to documents published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The supervisory body of the U.S. stock market (which must disclose the purchase whenever an investor acquires at least 5% of a company’s shares). It showed how Musk’s acquisition of shares in the microblogging site was finalized last February 10.

Figures in hand, through the Elon Musk Revocable Trust, the founder of SpaceX has acquired 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, thus becoming its largest shareholder. With his participation, in fact, the father of Tesla has surpassed the fund Vanguard and the merchant bank Morgan Stanley. Owners of over 70 million shares each, with shares equal, in order, to 8.79% and 8.76% of the share capital. To a little, less than 1 billion dollars, instead, is equivalent to the share that remains in the hands of Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter.

Twitter’s Turn

Granted that for the richest entrepreneur in the world, with assets estimated at almost 290 billion dollars, disbursing just under 3 billion dollars represents a minor investment compared to the many businesses in which he is engaged. Musk’s move could foreshadow a greater interest in social media. That he has turned to Twitter is no surprise! It has always been the platform he uses to tell his 80.2 million followers about his life and thoughts on his companies. Just to say, in the last period, Musk chose a tweet to fear the hypothesis of selling Tesla’s shares.

The most recent controversy, however, in addition to complaining about the second Covid-19 contagion, has been about Twitter itself. He shared his doubts about the platform’s attitude to free speech. In this regard, Elon Musk created a survey to ask his followers if they thought Twitter’s actions were correct, then hinting at the need to create a new social media.

Edit Button

Knowing now that it had already finalized the acquisition of the conspicuous share of Twitter in February, it is then likely that the intent was to pave the way for possible changes to the platform led by Parag Agrawal. Agrawal in recent months has replaced Dorsey as corporate CEO. The first news was not long in coming, as Twitter confirmed it was working to introduce the ability to edit tweets. The most awaited addition by users but also the most problematic for social media. Jack Dorsey explained in the past, being able to correct a message means being able to change its meaning. People who have retweeted the original text finding themselves sharing something that perhaps no longer reflects their ideas.

Dorsey and Agrawal have enthusiastically welcomed Musk’s arrival on the corporate board. The company’s goal is to surpass 350 million global users and climb to $7.5 billion in revenue. The entry into the scene of a character with Musk’s strength, resources, contacts and influence could prove useful to the purpose. Although, this remains a curious case, as last March the SpaceX founder asked a federal judge to rescind his agreement with the SEC dating back to 2018. According to which the entity has the right to monitor and authorize the entrepreneur’s tweets dedicated to Tesla. Keeping the dates in mind, this appears to be Musk’s first step in taking control of Twitter.  

Alessio Caprodossi is a technology, sports, and lifestyle journalist. He navigates between three areas of expertise, telling stories, experiences, and innovations to understand how the world is shifting. You can follow him on Twitter (@alecap23) and Instagram (Alessio Caprodossi) to report projects and initiatives on startups, sustainability, digital nomads, and web3.