Friday, May 24, 2024

Musk purchases $3-billion stake in Twitter

Elon Musk has taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a U.S. securities filing.

The news sent Twitter shares soaring about 25% in pre-market trading, the BBC reports.

The Tesla founder bought 73,486,938 Twitter shares on March 14, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake is worth $2.89 billion, based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday.

The stake makes him one of the largest shareholders in the company and is more than four times the 2.25% holding of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

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, 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 then asked: “Is a new platform needed?”

Musk 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.

Some posts have drawn controversy. Last year he tweeted in response to a claim, made by the head of the UN World Food Program (WFP), that just 2% of Musk’s wealth could help to solve world hunger.

In October, Musk said he would sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and donate it to the WFP, provided it could describe “exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger.”

Musk saw the valuation of his Tesla car company surpass a market value of $1 trillion last autumn, making it the fifth firm to reach the milestone, after Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google-owner Alphabet.

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