Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, becoming its largest shareholder

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

UPDATE: Elon Musk will been named to Twitter’s board of directors after he bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the company, becoming its largest shareholder.

He will serve as a Class II director and his term will expire at Twitters’ annual stockholder meeting in 2024.

Market trading for the social media platform was up six per cent before the bell, continuing a trend of rising market value for Twitter in the midst of Musk’s interest in the company.

Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted his welcome to Musk, saying that “Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.” He added that Musk is “both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on at Twitter.”

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Musk replied to the tweet saying that he’s looking forward to making “significant improvements to Twitter in coming months.”

He also polled his followers, asking if they wanted an edit button on the platform.

ORIGINAL STORY: The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, spent almost $3 billion to secure a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, making the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX the largest shareholder of the social media platform.

Filings made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday show that Musk now owns just over 73 million shares in Twitter, a platform on which Musk has over 80 million followers; the billionaire businessman has the eighth most-followed account on Twitter.

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If the billionaire had bought the shares at Friday’s closing price, Musk’s purchase would have cost approximately US$2.89 billion. Trading early Monday following the news of the purchase saw Twitter’s shares rocket up as much as 26 per cent, adding another $8 billion to Twitter’s market value.

Musk’s shares are now worth around $3.6 billion, meaning the billionaire added around $700 million to his net worth in one weekend.

Musk’s investment is classified as a passive stake, meaning that he won’t take an active role in running the social media giant, but some analysts are saying that this could be the start of Musk playing a more aggressive role in Twitter’s management.

Just last week, the billionaire tech founder said he was “giving serious thought” to building a social media platform of his own.

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The purchase of the 9.2 per cent stake means that Musk owns about quadruple the amount Twitter founder Jack Dorsey owns (2.25 per cent) in the company he started.

Musk is often in the news with Twitter-related antics. In 2018, he was forced to resign as chairman of Tesla after an SEC investigation. The probe was prompted when Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share.

The billionaire was also embroiled in a defamation lawsuit after calling a British cave explorer who helped rescue a group of boys stuck in a cave complex in Thailand a pedophile on Twitter.

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Musk also recently welcomed his second child with music star Grimes — his seventh child overall.

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