Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who used Twitter for various reasons — from infuriating the US regulators with business-related tweets to making fun of world leaders — has acquired 9.2 per cent share worth nearly $3 billion in Parag Agrawal-run platform, Twitter announced on Monday.
The surprising news led Twitter stock surge nearly 23 per cent in pre-market trade.
“Amount beneficially owned: 73,486,938 shares consisting of shares of Common Stock held by the Elon Musk Revocable Trust dated July 22, 2003 for which Elon Musk is the sole Trustee,” Twitter said in its regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The filing, signed today by Musk, revealed that the share event was actually on March 14.
Reports said that these shares will make Musk Twitter’s largest sole shareholder.
Last month, Musk said he is considering building a new social media platform, in a possible hint of him acquiring a stake in Twitter.
“Am giving serious thought to this,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site in a reply to a user.
Musk has been a vocal critic of social media platforms, including Twitter. In a Twitter poll, Musk had asked: “do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” and at least “70 per cent” of respondents said “no”.
“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 wrote in a response to the poll result. He also asked users “is a new platform needed?”
Musk’s legal skirmishes with the US SEC also continues. Musk is currently looking to throw out his 2018 agreement with the SEC, which requires him to get pre-approval for tweets that are of material importance to Tesla.