London, April 5 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has built a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter Inc, a regulatory filing showed on Monday, potentially making him the biggest stakeholder in the micro-blogging site.
Twitter shares soared 26 per cent in premarket trading after the filing, which comes close on the heels of Musk tweeting that he was giving “serious thought” to building a new social media platform.
Shares of other social media firms, including Meta Platforms FB.O and Snapchat owner Snap Inc, were also trading higher.
Musk owns 73.5 million Twitter shares, valuing his passive stake in the company at up to $2.9 billion based on the stock’s Friday close. The shares are held by the Elon Musk Revocable Trust.
Musk, a prolific user of Twitter, has over 80 million followers on the site since joining in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements, including teasing a go-private deal for Tesla that landed him in regulatory scrutiny.
He, however, has been critical of the social media platform and its policies of late and has said the company is undermining democracy by failing to adhere to free speech principles.
Meanwhile, Musk and Twitter’s billionaire co-founder, Jack Dorsey, have had some common ground in terms of dismissing the so-called Web3, a vague term for a utopian version of the internet that is decentralized.
Musk is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, and leads brain-chip startup Neuralink and infrastructure firm The Boring Company.