Elon Musk now owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc., making him the platform’s biggest shareholder. The stake’s worth is about $2.89 billion, based on the market close on Friday.
The information was revealed in the Securities and Exchange Commission 13G filing released on Monday. It details that the stake purchase occurred on the 14th of March, which gives Musk 73,486,938 shares of Twitter. It resulted in the Twitter shares surging to about 26% in premarket trading.
The revelation was made after the entrepreneur and business magnate criticized Twitter less than two weeks ago. In his post, Musk says, “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?” The post is then followed by another question: “Is a new platform needed?”
The post refers to the result of the poll conducted by Musk on the 25th of March. It reads: “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” It is then followed by another post saying, “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
The post was conducted to Musk’s 80.2 million followers. It gained more than 2 million responses, resulting in 70.4 voters expressing negation.
With Musk’s thoughts about creating a social media platform of his own and this recent news, it would be a big challenge for the new Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal. Back on the 2nd of December last year after the announcement about Agrawal replacing Jack Dorsey as CEO of Twitter, Musk posted a meme where Agrawal is Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Dorsey is Soviet secret police head Nikolai Yezhov, with the latter being pushed into the water.
The post delivers negative implications, which adds to the pressure building up in the social media company, where Musk is the biggest shareholder now. It might also affect the 2018 restrictions Musk agreed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission due to his controversial tweets about the electric-car maker, specifically the post talking about taking Tesla private.