A filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR). The purchase of 73,486,938 common stock of Twitter makes Elon Musk the largest individual shareholder of the company.
On 25th March 2022, Elon Musk conducted a poll on Twitter asking “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”. “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully,” he further stated.
Musk has more than 80 million followers on Twitter and this poll received more than 2 million votes. As we can see above, 70.4% of users voted that Twitter does not adhere to the principle of Free Speech. However, many commenters in the poll’s thread suggested Elon Musk to acquire Twitter, but no one knew he has bought a big chunk of Twitter already.
Looking at the SEC filing (PDF below), we can see that Elon Musk had purchased Twitter shares on 14th March (date of event), more than a week before he started the poll on Twitter.
Elon Musk just filed the purchase of Twitter shares yesterday (4th April), thus making the information public. This resulted in the rallying of Twitter (TWTR) shares on the stock market.
A Twitter share was priced at $39.30 at market close on Friday (1st April) and on market close on Monday yesterday, it climbed to $49.97 a share, a whopping 27.13% increase in a single day of trading.
According to the SEC filing, Elon Musk bought Twitter stock on 14th March 2022, when the price of a Twitter share was $33.03. So, by buying 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, Elon Musk spent a total of $2,427,273,562 or $2.427 billion for this hefty purchase (Source: SEC).
This news not only influenced the share price of Twitter but Tesla (TSLA) shares were also impacted. On Friday at market close, a Tesla share was trading at $1,084.59 USD and when markets closed on Monday yesterday it jumped to $1,145.45 a share — an increase of 5.61%.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey who left the position of CEO of the company in November last year, has expressed that centralization and control of the corporations has damaged the internet.
The coming weeks and months will clarify how Elon Musk can really influence Twitter policies and how and if the social media platform is really ready for the change Musk is willing for (free speech, democracy, and decentralization).
Update: Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal has announced that Elon Musk has officially joined the company’s board of directors.
“He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon,” Parag tweeted a welcome message for Elon Musk
“Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months,” Musk responded to the official announcement.
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