Home International News America BUSINESS: Billionaire Elon Musk Becomes Twitter’s Biggest Shareholder After Taking A 9.2% Stake

BUSINESS: Billionaire Elon Musk Becomes Twitter’s Biggest Shareholder After Taking A 9.2% Stake

Elon Musk took a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc. to become the platform’s biggest shareholder, a week after hinting he might shake up the social media industry.

Twitter shares surged as much as 27% after Musk’s purchase was revealed Monday in a regulatory filing. The gain marked the stock’s biggest intraday increase since its first day of trading following the company’s 2013 initial public offering. The stake is worth about $2.89 billion, based on Friday’s market close.

Musk, 50, polled his more than 80 million followers on Twitter last month, asking them whether the company adheres to the principles of free speech. After more than 70% said no, he asked whether a new platform was needed and said he was giving serious thought to starting his own.

“Given Elon’s prior comments about wanting to start a social media company, I would say it’s possible that he will increase his stake in Twitter or take a controlling interest in the company sometime soon,” said Tom Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson & Co.

Musk has been one of the biggest personalities on Twitter and has regularly run into trouble on the platform. The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer is currently seeking to exit a 2018 deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that put controls in place related to his tweeting about the electric-car maker.

The announcement will be yet another major test for new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who replaced Jack Dorsey after he unexpectedly resigned in November. Agrawal vowed to increase accountability, make decisions faster and to improve product execution. The company set ambitious goals for growth including increasing annual revenue to $7.5 billion and getting to 315 million daily users by the end of 2023.

//Bloomberg

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