Outspoken Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought an enormous stake in Twitter that makes him the biggest outdoors shareholder within the social media inventory, not lengthy after criticizing the corporate for what he mentioned was its failure to uphold the tenets of free speech.
Musk owns 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, which represents a 9.2% passive stake within the firm, in line with a Securities and Alternate Fee 13G submitting launched Monday. The stake is price $2.89 billion, based mostly Twitter’s closing worth Friday.
The acquisition comes lower than two weeks after Musk criticized the corporate, polling folks on Twitter about whether or not it adheres to free speech rules. “On condition that Twitter serves because the de facto public city sq., failing to stick to free speech rules basically undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted. “What must be finished?”
Late final month, Musk additionally mentioned he was contemplating constructing a brand new social media platform.
Whereas it’s categorized as a passive stake, traders have been bidding shares larger on the possibility this might result in one thing extra. Twitter inventory surged greater than 27%.
“Musk may attempt to take a extra aggressive stance right here on Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives mentioned Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Field.” “This ultimately may result in some type of buyout.”
“This is sensible given what Musk has at the least been speaking about, at the least from a social media perspective,” Ives mentioned.
Twitter declined to remark.
Musk is a frequent person of Twitter and has greater than 80 million followers on the platform. Nevertheless, a few of his tweets have gotten the Tesla chief into scorching water over time.
On Aug. 7, 2018, Musk tweeted he had “funding secured” to take Tesla non-public at $420 per share. The 12 months following that tweet have been a curler coaster for Musk and Tesla shareholders. In that point, the corporate set efficiency data, but in addition needed to cope with litigation, authorities inquiries and layoffs. Musk additionally reached a settlement with the SEC that eliminated him from the position of chairman at Tesla.
— CNBC’s Jessica Bursztynsky contributed to this report.