According to a filing on Monday, Elon Musk just bought 9.2 percent of the Twitter stock, making him the company’s largest shareholder.
Twitter’s stock jumped 22 percent in early trade after the transaction was announced. Musk did not say how much he paid for the shares, but his holding was worth $2.9 billion as of Friday’s closing and $3.5 billion following the early Monday. Based on the closing price of the company’s shares on Friday, his stake is worth approximately $2.9 billion.
Investors were eager to respond. At 7:15 a.m. in New York (1115 GMT), Twitter’s stock traded at roughly $49, up nearly 26%.
“We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” analysts Daniel Ives and John Katsingris of Wedbush stated.
Musk launched a poll on Twitter on Monday, asking users if they wanted an edit button, a long-awaited feature the social media network has been working on.
More than 1.1 million users voted within two hours of the poll’s opening, with more than 75% favouring an edit option.
Musk has over 80 million followers on Twitter since joining the site in 2009 and has used the medium to make various announcements, including promoting a Tesla go-private transaction, which put him in hot water with regulators. He has recently been critical of the social media site and its limitations. He recently launched a Twitter poll asking people if they believed the website upheld the idea of free expression.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote on March 25. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
More than two million individuals participated in the survey, with more than 70% voting “no.”
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” he tweeted the next day.
“Just buy Twitter” was one of the first responses from tens of thousands of users.
Outside of the business world, Musk has used Twitter to stir up controversy: in March, he challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to war over Ukraine’s fate. Moreover, he received backlash in February for comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler.