On Monday billionaire investor Elon Musk criticized Twitter to his 80 Million followers as failing to adhere to free speech principles, disclosed that he has acquired a significant stake in the company.
The move makes Musk Twitter’s largest shareholder.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, the world’s richest man, worth $273 billion, owns 73,486,938, or 9.2%, shares of Twitter, a Schedule 13G filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows. Musk made the purchase on March 14, according to the SEC document.
The holding’s worth stands at around $2.9 billion based on Friday’s $39.31 stock closing price.
Musk’s massive stake shot Twitter shares toward a five-month high. They were up by 26.2% to $49.30 in pre-market trading by 7 a.m. EDT Monday, and $47.86 by 9 a.m. EDT.
Musk’s disclosure comes after tweeting a March 25 poll to his followers asking if Twitter “rigorously” abides by the principle of free speech as an essential part of a functioning democracy.
“The consequences of this poll will be important,” the business magnate wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Please vote carefully.” Over 70% of his 2 million respondents replied, “no.”
Musk has had previous issues with the SEC over his use of Twitter. After he tweeted in 2018 that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420” per share, the SEC charged Musk with misleading investors.
As part of a settlement with the SEC, Tesla had to approve any of its CEO’s tweets that could affect the company’s stock price.