Elon Musk and Twitter, the two names which have occupied nearly 90% of the technology news scape for past few weeks, aren’t planning to stop anytime soon. Barely 24 hours after Musk gave his “best and final” offer to buy Twitter, regulatory findings now reveal that he no longer remains Tesla’s largest shareholder.
Musk had revealed, just a week back, that he had bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter (73.5 million shares) for nearly $3 billion. With that investment, he became the largest shareholder of the popular micro-blogging site, eclipsing former CEO Jack Dorsey’s stake. Now, Musk’s position has been usurped by American investment advisor Vanguard Group, whose own stake in Twitter now comes at 10.3% of the social media titan.
In related news, Twitter CEO has said that they are still evaluating on Musk’s offer to buy-out Twitter, while the company’s board is looking to ‘fight the bid’.
This rise in Vanguard’s stake comes after the investment behemoth revealed that the funds held by it put the number of Twitter shares it owns to 82.4 million, according to the latest filings with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission. As per the filings, the increase in shares came at some point during the first quarter of the year.
The Wall Street Journal puts the worth of Vanguard’s holdings at $3.78 billion, which is based on the closing price of Twitter’s stock on April 13. The Journal noted that the majority of Vanguard’s assets are in index and other so-called passive funds, and it is not making a directional bet on Twitter.
However, Musk remains Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, and he and Dorsey are the only individuals in the top ten shareholders of Twitter, with financial institutions making up the rest of the top ten. To note, Musk had been offered a seat on the board of directors as well, but later refused to join. Now he has the option to buy more Twitter shares to increase his stake beyond 14.9%, which was the cap he had to maintain if he accepted to join the board.
Musk’s displacement as the largest shareholder comes a day after he had offered to buy 100% of shares of the social media giant in an all-cash deal of $54.20 per share, which would value Twitter at $43.4 billion. Musk said that it was his “best and final” offer to unlock Twitter’s “extraordinary potential” by taking the company private and that he would reconsider his position as a shareholder if the offer was refused.
A hostile takeover may be on the table as well, as Musk said that it would be utterly indefensible not to put the offer to a shareholder vote and that they, and not the board of directors, owned the company. He later deleted this tweet, which was an answer to that of Nick Short, Communications Director for the Claremont Institute. Short had asked that if the board rejected Musk’s offer, then wouldn’t the board be acting in direct opposition to the financial interests of their shareholders?