Twitter shareholders win in Elon Musk’s quest for justice

Twitter's market cap has risen to near $40B from $29.9B on Jan. 31

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, is willing to shell out $43 billion for Twitter in a quest to ensure that what he described as the world’s "de facto Town Hall" becomes a platform that plays fair. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TWTR TWITTER INC. 37.40 -0.40 -1.06%

"I could technically afford it," said Musk, whose net worth is $264 billion, during his TED Talk with Chris Anderson on Thursday hours after making an offer to take Twitter private. 

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Elon Musk speaks at SESSION 11 at TED2022: A New Era. April 10-14, 2022, Vancouver, BC, Canada.  (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

"But what I'm saying is, this is not a way to sort of make money. My strong, intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don’t care about economics at all," he explained hours after making his blockbuster offer for the social media giant. 

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In Musk’s pursuit of justice, he’s still creating a windfall for shareholders and management.

The market value of the social media giant hit $40 billion when he revealed his 9.2% stake in the company this month, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group, up from $29.9 billion back on Jan. 31 when he first began loading up on shares unbeknownst to the investing public. 

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Twitter Shares YTD 2022

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, released on April 4, details his purchases that continued through April 1, capping at $39.34. The stock is up over 16% this month, compared to a 6% drop in the Nasdaq Composite. 

Host Chris Anderson and Elon Musk speak at SESSION 11 at TED2022: A New Era. April 10-14, 2022, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Gilberto Tadday / TED)

Musk, a self-described "free speech absolutist," stressed an overhaul of Twitter is key to democracy. 

"It's important to the function of the United States as a free country and many other countries, and actually to help freedom in the world more broadly than the U.S.," he said. 

"It's damn annoying when someone you don't like says something you don't like. That is a sign of a healthy, functioning free speech situation," he declared. 

Musk also said he has another plan if Twitter's board rejects his offer without being specific. As of Thursday evening, Twitter has indicated its board is reviewing the offer.