In premarket trading, Twitter shares rose about 28% after Elon Musk disclosed his stake.
According to a regulatory filing on Monday, Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk owns 9.2 percent of microblogging site Twitter Inc.Twitter shares jumped almost 28 percent in pre-market trade after Elon Musk disclosed in a 13G filing that he has bought a 9.2 percent passive position in the social media business.
Following the news, Twitter shares were up 28.49 percent in pre-market trade, closing at $50.51. The stake is worth around $2.89 billion as of Friday’s market closing.
According to a statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the world’s richest man purchased almost 73.5 million shares.
Musk, a frequent Twitter user, has recently criticised the social media network and its restrictions. He claims that the firm is endangering democracy by failing to adhere to free speech principles.
Musk has stated in tweets that he is seriously considering developing a social media network since Twitter is “failing to adhere to free speech principle.”
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted..
He said in an earlier tweet on March 25 that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” and he questioned if Twitter “rigorously adheres to this principle.”
The unveiling will be another key test for new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who took over after Jack Dorsey abruptly quit in November. Agrawal promised to boost responsibility, make decisions more quickly, and improve product execution. The startup established lofty growth targets, such as raising yearly revenue to $7.5 billion and reaching 315 million daily users by the end of 2023.
Musk shared a mysterious meme in December, just after Twitter revealed that Agrawal will succeed Dorsey as CEO. It showed Agrawal as Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin and Dorsey as Soviet secret police chief Nikolai Yezhov being thrown into water.
Twitter is under pressure to develop new things more quickly. To persuade sceptics that it was serious about growing its business, the corporation established lofty revenue and user growth targets. While Twitter has been gradually growing for years, its stock has lagged behind others in the sector.
What changes to expect now?
Musk’s 9.2 percent holding, valued at roughly $3 billion, makes him the company’s largest stakeholder, surpassing the 8.8 percent stake held by the Vanguard Group, the 8.4 percent stake held by Morgan Stanley, and the 2.2 percent stake held by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
The investment and board position are also expected to allow Musk more leeway in proposing adjustments and improvements to the microblogging site. For example, on March 25, about 10 days after acquiring the stake, Musk first posted a poll asking his followers if Twitter rigidly adhered to the ideals of free expression, which he argued were important to a functioning democracy.
He then intimated that people should “vote carefully” since the “consequences of the poll” may be significant. After more than 70% of voters said they did not believe Twitter was rigorously implementing free speech principles, Musk posted a new tweet on March 26 seeking a solution, claiming that Twitter, which “serves as the de-facto public town square,” had failed to adhere to free speech principles, undermining democracy.
In a second tweet, he questioned his followers if a new platform was required. Musk wondered on Tuesday if the microblogging site should feature an edit option.
What does this mean for twitter?
Twitter’s share purchase comes at a time when the company’s annual sales was at $5 billion in December 2021 and it has set a revenue target of $7.5 million by 2023. With Musk, one of the world’s richest people, legally named as the largest stakeholder, the microblogging site may gain financial clout to compete with rival platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter has branched out via innovative features like audio tweets and spaces. The proceeds from the equity purchase might help the platform grow and improve the quality of its offerings.
The share purchase might also help the platform’s reputation, which has been accused by users and governments alike of limiting free expression and favouring tweets and material with Left-leaning ideas.