Social media swoop

Twitter rockets after cars and space tycoon Musk buys stake

Elon Musk: Twitter raid

Tesla owner Elon Musk sent shares in Twitter soaring today after it emerged he had become the social media company’s biggest shareholder .

The world’s richest man bought nearly 73.5 million shares, giving him a 9.2% stake, according to documents filed at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake is worth $2.89 billion, based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday.

It also means his stake is four time bigger than Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s 2.25% holding. Mr Musk is worth $300 billion – 10 times the value of Twitter.

The transaction pushed up shares in other social media firms, including Meta Platforms, owner of Facebook, and Snapchat owner Snap Inc. 

Mr Musk’s stake in Twitter is described as a passive investment but the market already believes it could be a stepping stone to buying the firm and the shares soared 20%.

Dan Ives of WedBush Securities said it “could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter. I think this is just the starter. It could eventually lead to a buyout.” 

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The Tesla founder and space travel entrepreneur is a regular user of Twitter. He has gathered more than 80 million followers on the site since joining in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements, including a teasing trail over turning Tesla private that landed him in trouble with US market regulators.  

Mr Dorsey resigned as Twitter CEO in November after 15 years at the helm. He remains remains the CEO of Square, the financial payments company he co-founded with Jim McKelvey and which recently signed a partnership deal with Scottish technology incubator Codebase.

In December, Dorsey officially changed the name of the Square platform to Block, due in part to his interest in blockchain technology.

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