Elon Musk acquires 9.2% of Twitter shares and the social network skyrockets on the stock market


South African tycoon Elon Musk acquired 9.2% of Twitter shares, catapulting the social network's stock market value by more than 25%.

Founder of electric car company Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX and considered the world's richest man, Musk is a frequent user of Twitter, where he often posts controversial messages and has been a critic of social media companies.

In a recent tweet he questioned Twitter's respect for freedom of expression and suggested that he launch his own platform.

A document filed with the US Securities Market Regulatory Commission (SEC) indicates that Musk bought almost 73.5 million common shares of Twitter, 9.2% of the total.

This purchase makes it the group's largest shareholder, ahead of the Vanguard investment fund (8.8%) and the Morgan Stanley bank (8.4%), according to data from Bloomberg.

The investment equates to about $2.9 billion at Twitter's closing price on Friday.

By midday, shares of the Blue Bird Network were up 25% at $49.23.

"We could hope that this passive participation (ndlr: that does not seek to change the strategic management of the company) is the beginning of broader discussions with the board / management of Twitter that could lead to an active purchase and a potentially more aggressive position in the owned by Twitter," said Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and John Katsingris.

Musk conducted a Twitter poll on March 25 in which he asked: "Freedom of expression is essential to the functioning of democracy. Do you think Twitter rigorously adheres to that principle?"

"No", responded more than 70% of the two million users who voted.

"Given that Twitter serves as a de facto public square, not adhering to fundamental principles undermines democracy. What should be done?" he asked the other day. "Is a new platform needed?"

"Buy Twitter" was one of the first responses from tens of thousands of users.

Musk has already used Twitter polls to do business. In November last year he divested $5 billion of Tesla stock after asking his social media followers if he should sell his 10% stake in the firm.

In 2018 he published a tweet in which, without proof, he claimed to have enough funds to delist Tesla.

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