who-owns-twitter

Who Owns Twitter?

As of April 25th, 2022, Elon Musk tried to take over Twitter. Musk tried to purchase the company at $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion. The deal finally closed by October 27th, 2022, and Elon Musk became the largest shareholder.

Elon musk is Twitter’s owner

After an epic battle that might stay forever in the business history books, Elon Musk entered Twitter’s HQ to make things even more interesting, saying, “let that sink in!”

In short, Musk confirmed himself as the meme king of the platform. While this might seem all a joke, it’s, in reality, the acquisition of one of the largest media platforms in the US.

As Musk took over, he had the main executive team resign immediately.

What’s going to happen next?

Twitter will be delisted (it won’t be a public company anymore) as Musk, and his new executive team will come in and try to restructure the company.

Thus, either opening up the change to list it again in the coming years or keep it as a private company, outside the influence of quarter-to-quarter financials.

How was Twitter ownership organized before Musk bought it?

The largest individual shareholder is Elon Musk, followed by co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey. Other non-individual, institutional shareholders comprise The Vanguard Group (with 10.7%), BlackRock (with 6.8%), and Morgan Stanley (with 87%).

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The timeline of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter

In April 2022, Elon Musk tried to acquire Twitter in one of the most controversial deals in business history.

Let’s review the timeline.

Musk placed a bet to take over the whole company out of the blue. It was April 14th, 2022:

elon-musk-twitter-offer

The public records show the whole conversation of the offer Musk made to take over Twitter.

Below is the main extract, of the conversation, between Musk and Twitter’s board.

As per SEC Filings, Musk had sent a message to Bret Taylor, Chairman of Twitter’s board:

I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.  

However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.

As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.

Twitter has extraordinary potential.  I will unlock it.

Elon Musk

In a follow-up text, Musk highlighted:

As I indicated this weekend, I believe that the company should be private to go through the changes that need to be made.

After the past several days of thinking this over, I have decided I want to acquire the company and take it private.

I am going to send you an offer letter tonight, it will be public in the morning.

Are you available to chat?

Elon Musk

As a final message to Twitter’s board, Musk highlighted:

1. Best and final

a. I’m not playing the back-and-forth game.

b. I have moved straight to the end.

c. It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it.

d. If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.

i. This is not a threat, it’s simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made.

ii. And those changes won’t happen without taking the company private.

2. My advisors and my team are available after you get the letter to answer any questions

a. There will be more detail in our public filings. After you receive the letter and review the public filings, your team can call my family office with any questions.

Elon Musk

In short, Musk had offered to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share, a 54% premium, before Musk had started to buy Twitter shares.

While the offer was good from a valuation standpoint, the board tried to fight it. Also influential business commentators were against it.

As Cramer highlighted:

This is one of those where they are literally not doing their job, there’s no fiduciary responsibility if they just say, ‘you know what, we take it, there are times when individual directors are opened up for a level of lack of fiduciary that I think crosses the line. This crosses the line.

Throughout the deal, none expected it to go through so quickly.

Indeed, given the controversy around Twitter, most business people thought this would have turned into a few months’ fight over Twitter’s ownership.

Yet, things tumbled very quickly. And by April 25th, 2022, the deal was officially announced!

twitter-acquisition-deal-announcement
The announcement of Twitter’s board accepting the offer from Elon Musk to buy the company.

As explained in the official press release:

Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter.

Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, highlighted:

 The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.

Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, highlighted on Twitter

Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.

How did Elon Musk secure the funding to purchase the company?

He secured $25.5 billion of fully committed debt and margin loan financing and is providing an approximately $21.0 billion equity commitment.

After one of our most epic business battles, the deal closed by October 26-27 as Musk entered Twitter’s HQ to meet the team.

Wanter Isaacson, working on a biography of Musk, thus following him as he talks to Twitter’s team for the first time, shows a group of people listening to Musk.

As Musk takes ownership of Twitter, he sends over a public letter to advertisers:

Source: Elon Musk, Twitter

A Glance at Twitter Business Model

Twitter Business Model

how-does-twitter-make-money
Twitter makes money in two ways: advertising and data licensing. In 2021, Twitter generated $4.5 billion from advertising and $570 million from data licensing. While Twitter generated $5 billion in total revenues, it lost 221 million.
advertising-industry
The digital advertising industry has become a multi-billion industry dominated by a few key tech players. The industry’s advertising dollars are also fragmented across several small players and publishers across the web. Most of it is consolidated within brands like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Bing, Twitter, TikTok, which is proliferating, and Pinterest.

Read Also: Twitter Business Model, Digital Business Models, Platform Business Models, Attention-Based Business Models.

Related Case Studies

History of Tesla

history-of-tesla
Founded in 2003, by Eberhard and Tarpenning, eventually, the initial co-founders left the company, and by 2004, Musk first became the main investor, and thereafter, by 2008, he took over as CEO of the company. Tesla would go through many near-death experiences, until 2018. And yet, by 2021, Tesla became a trillion-dollar company.

Tesla Business Model

tesla-financials
In 2021, Tesla generated over $53.8 billion in revenues, compared to the $31.5 billion in 2020. The largest segment in the automotive sales (comprising regulatory credits revenues), followed by leasing (as part of the automotive), generated $1.6 billion in 2021. Outside the automotive sales, services (non-warranty after-sales vehicle services, sales of used vehicles, retail merchandise, and more) accounted for $3.8 billion. And energy generation and storage accounted for $2.8 billion. US and China are the primary markets, with almost $24 billion and nearly $14 billion respectively, in 2021. In 2021, Tesla generated $5.6 billion in Net Income, a net margin of over 10%.

Real-Time Insurance Business Model

real-time-insurance
A real-time insurance business model enables Tesla to build its own insurance arm, by dynamically adjusting the premiums, based on real-time driving behavior. Reduced insurance premiums hooked with the leasing arm, enable Tesla to scale its demand side of the business.

Tesla Organizational Structure

tesla-organizational-structure
Tesla is characterized by a functional organizational structure with aspects of a hierarchical structure. Tesla does employ functional centers that cover all business activities, including finance, sales, marketing, technology, engineering, design, and the offices of the CEO and chairperson. Tesla’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, decide the strategic direction of the company, with international operations given little autonomy.

How Does SpaceX Make Money

how-does-spacex-make-money
– SpaceX is a space transportation service and manufacturer of space rockets and other transport vehicles. It was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. – SpaceX makes money by charging both governmental and commercial customers to send goods into space. These goods include ISS supplies and infrastructure, but also people and satellites for various purposes. – SpaceX is also in the process of creating its Starlink network, designed to give every citizen access to fast and affordable internet.

Read Also: Tesla Business Model, How Does Elon Musk Make MoneyElon Musk Companies, Who Owns TeslaTransitional Business ModelsTesla Competitors.

Read Next: Tesla Business ModelTesla CompetitorsTesla Mission.

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Who Owns Google

The most prominent institutional shareholders are mutual funds BlackRock and The Vanguard Group, with 2.7% and 3.1%, respectively. Larry Page and Sergey Brin together have 51% of the voting power. Other individual shareholders comprise John Doerr (1.5%), venture capitalist and early investor in Google, and CEO, Sundar Pichai. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has 4.2% voting power. 

Who Owns Facebook

who-owns-facebook
Mark Zuckerberg is the largest shareholder of the company. Zuckerberg retains ownership and control of the company. Like Google, Facebook has issued two common stocks, Class A and Class B. The holders of Class B common stocks are entitled to ten votes per share, and holders of our Class A common stocks are entitled to one vote per share. Mark Zuckerberg has a voting power of 56.9%; he’s the main decision-maker.

Who Owns Apple

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As of 2021, major Apple shareholders comprised Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway with 5.56% of the company’s stock. Followed by other individual shareholders like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple with over 3.3 million shares, Artur Levinson, chairman of Apple, with over 4.5 million shares, and others. 

Who Owns Amazon

who-owns-amazon
With 64,588,418 shares, Jeff Bezos is the major individual investor. Owning 12.7% of the company. Other top individual investors comprise Amazon’s CEO Andy Jessy, with 94,729 shares. Top institutional investors comprise mutual funds like The Vanguard Group (6.6% ownership) and BlackRock (5.7% ownership). 

Who Owns Microsoft

who-owns-microsoft
Major shareholders comprise co-founder Bill Gates, who stepped down from the company’s board in 2020, which is why these shares are no longer publicly reported. In 2019, Gates still owned a stake of 103 million stocks, which accounted for 1.34% of the company’s ownership (worth over $23 billion in September 2022). Other individual shareholders comprise Satya Nadella, the company’s CEO, Brad Smith (former president), Jean-Philippe Courtois (EVP), and Amy Hood (former CFO).

Who Owns Tesla

who-owns-tesla
By 2022, most of Tesla’s shares are still owned by Elon Musk, among the company’s co-founders and the CEO. Elon Musk is the top individual investor, with a 23.5% stake in the company, equivalent to over 244 million shares. Musk is followed by Lawrence Ellison (founder of Oracle), with a 1.5% company stake. Ellison also sits on Tesla’s board. And Antonio Gracias, among the company’s first investors, has over 1.6 million shares. Other institutional investors and mutual funds like The Vanguard Group (6%), Blackrock (5.1%), and Capital Ventures International also have a good chunk of the company’s stocks.

Who Owns PayPal

who-owns-paypal
PayPal was first founded in 1998; it was called Confinity (among its founders was Peter Thiel); later, it merged with X.com, its major competitor, founded by Elon Musk (which would become known for other companies like Tesla and SpaceX). From this merger, PayPal was born. In 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion. eBay spun off PayPal in 2015, which would be listed as an independent entity. Today PayPal owns brands like Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and iZettle.

Who Owns Netflix

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Netflix’s largest individual shareholder is Reed Hastings, co-founder, and CEO of the company, with a 1.7% stake, valued at over $1.8 billion in 2022. Netflix runs a subscription-based business model that generated $29.6 billion in revenues, and it had over 221 million global members in 2021. Netflix’s business model runs only premium content on its platform, driven by its Netflix Originals shows. Netflix is also building an ad-supported version.

Who Owns TikTok

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TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet technology company owning several content platforms worldwide (Douyin, Toutiao, Xigua Video, Helo, Lark, Babe). Bytedance passed the $300 billion private market valuation by 2022, making around $58 billion in revenue in 2022, over $4 billion from TikTok.
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