Elon Musk Becomes Twitter’s Largest Shareholder, Owns 9.2% Stake

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has spent $2.98 billion USD buying a 9.2 percent share of microblogging platform Twitter, reports Bloomberg.

According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing published Monday, Musk now has a 9.2 percent passive stake in the social media company.

This makes him one of the company’s largest shareholders, with a greater stake than Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. The stake is worth $2.89 billion based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday, and shares were up more than 25 percent after the news became public.

Musk recently told his around 80 million Twitter followers he’s giving “serious thought” to building a social media platform to rival Twitter, which he criticized for “failing to adhere to free speech principles.”

“Given that Twitter serves as the de-facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “What should be done?”

His stake in Twitter is classed as “passive,” but it’s being viewed as a potential first step in a bigger move by the billionaire for more control.

Talking to CNBC Squawk Box, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives pointed out, “Musk could try to take a more aggressive stance here on Twitter” and that his stake could eventually lead to a buyout attempt.

At the same time, Musk’s online presence has also landed him in hot water. He made an agreement with the SEC to get his tweets pre-approved after tweeting that he could take Tesla private without filing the regulatory notices with the SEC to make that sort of announcement. Musk hasn’t been all that happy with the SEC deal, but the commission’s been standing by it.

The revelations Musk is now the largest shareholder of Twitter sent the stock up 25% for the day, as of writing.