By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Tesla Inc, is no longer the largest shareholder of Twitter.
Musk currently owns a 9.2 per cent stake in the company.
But Vanguard Group, an American registered investment advisor, now owns 82.4 million shares of Twitter, which means 10.3 per cent of the company, making it Twitter’s largest shareholder and bumping Musk out of the top spot.
According to the most recent publicly available filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the asset manager increased its stake in the company at some point during the first quarter.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Vanguard’s holdings are worth $3.78 billion, based on Twitter stock’s closing price on April 13.
Musk had proposed to buy 100 per cent of the social media company at $54.20 per share in cash, valuing it at around $43.4 billion.
At a TED conference on Thursday, Musk insisted that buying Twitter wasn’t an economic move for him.
“I could technically afford it. But this [deal] is not a way to make money. Having a public platform that is trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don’t care about the economics at all,” Musk said.
The world’s richest person expressed doubt about whether he’ll succeed in buying Twitter.
“I’m not actually sure I will be able to acquire it…I could technically afford it,” he said.
Musk acknowledged he has a “plan B” if his offer fails but refused to elaborate when asked for details.
“For another time, I think,” the billionaire said.
Reacting to Musk’s offer, Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi Arabian prince, said that as one of the major shareholders of Twitter, he was rejecting the entrepreneur’s cash offer for the social media platform because it was too low.
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk ($54.20 per share) comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects,” the prince said in a tweet.
In his response to the Saudi Prince’s tweet, Musk asked two questions.
“Interesting. Just two questions, if I may. How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?” he asked in a tweet.