According to a US securities filing, Elon Musk has purchased a 9.2% stake in the social media platform, Twitter. The Tesla chief executive now owns 73,486,938 shares in the company.
After buying the shares on 14 March, the Securities and Exchange Commission estimated his stake to be worth $2.89bn, based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday.
This makes Elon Musk the largest shareholder in the social media platform, and he now owns more than four times the holding of founder Jack Dorsey, who has a 2.25% stake in the firm.
Elon Musk recently said he was “giving serious thought” to building his own social media platform after expressing concerns about whether Twitter supports freedom of speech.
He also asked his 80 million followers their views on free speech on the platform. He asked in a tweet, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle? Is a new platform needed?”
He uses Twitter regularly to share updates on his companies, which include Neuralink and SpaceX. But, some of his posts have been controversial.
For example, he was criticized last month for sharing a meme comparing the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to Adolf Hitler, before later deleting the post.
In December he tweeted a meme showing Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new chief executive, over an image of the former Russian dictator Joseph Stalin.
Last year, he responded to a claim by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that 2% of his wealth could solve world hunger. He responded by tweeting that he would sell $6bn in Tesla stock and donate it, provided it explained, “exactly how $6bn will solve world hunger”.
After Elon Musk bought his shares, the announcement on Twitter sent the value of shares up by a staggering 27% in New York trading. In pre-market trading, approximately $8bn was added to Twitter’s $31.5bn value, before settling to 21% up later in the day.