Tesla CEO Elon Musk has officially lost his position as Twitter’s largest shareholder after Vanguard Group upped its stake in the social media company. The news comes as Twitter’s Board currently ponders a proposition from Musk, who offered to buy the platform for roughly $43 billion.
On April 8, Vanguard disclosed it had upped its ownership stake in Twitter to 10.3 percent, equating to 82.4 million shares, displacing Musk as the largest shareholder. The Wall Street Journal initially reported the shift in Twitter’s largest shareholders. Previously, it held 67.2 million shares or about 8.4 percent of the company.
Vanguard’s stake in Twitter is now worth roughly $3.78 billion as of the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.
In early April, Musk disclosed he had purchased 9.2 percent of Twitter. After denying a spot on the board, Musk was free to do what he pleased. This included a hostile takeover of the company, which he proposed this morning.
Early Thursday, Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share. “My offer is my best and final offer, and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said in a filing with the SEC.
Twitter Board Ponders the Possibilities
As of 4:30 PM in New York, Twitter’s board has not yet come to a decision on Musk’s offer after initially stating this morning that it needed to consider its options. Most recent reports have indicated Twitter could use a “poison pill” strategy, which would allow shareholders to stock up on discounted shares, effectively eliminating Musk’s ability to overtake Twitter and make major changes to the company.
Musk argues that Twitter shareholders, not the board, should come up with the decision. “Taking Twitter private at $54.20 should be up to shareholders, not the board,” Musk said in a poll.
Some outlets, who have cited inside sources, indicate Twitter is not leaning toward turning the company over to Musk, despite his hefty offer. Musk said his plan behind buying Twitter is to make it an “inclusive arena for free speech.”
“The civilizational risk is decreased more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform,” he said when discussing the outlet’s potential during a TED Talk this morning.
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