Tesla CEO Elon Musk has purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder. The news comes after musk asked his followers if a new platform was needed. Twitter’s shares jumped more than 25% following the news Monday morning. Musk now controls 73.5 million shares of the company, making him the largest shareholder. The individual shares were priced at $39.24 at the time of his purchase and are now sitting at around $50. His stake is worth $2.89 billion (based on Twitter’s closing price Friday).
Musk’s purchase comes roughly a week after the billionaire criticized Twitter for their lack of commitment to free speech. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Musk tweeted on March 26th. “Is a new platform needed?” he later tweeted. Many of Musk’s nearly 80 million Twitter followers encouraged him at the time to buy Twitter’s platform entirely, or create his own. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adhered to this principle? Is a new platform needed?” Elon tweeted.
While it is classified as a passive stake, investors were bidding shares higher on the chance that it could lead to something more. “Musk could try to make a more aggressive stance here on Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives Said Monday. “This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout.” Neither Twitter nor Musk have yet to make an official statement.