Elon Musk’s past could predict what happens next in Twitter deal


(NewsNation) — Elon Musk gained notoriety for his businesses, off-the-cuff tweets and title as the world’s wealthiest man, according to Forbes, with a nearly $265 billion fortune.

Musk’s fortune didn’t rack up overnight and his actions on how he built his fortune could indicate what could happen next in his dealings with Twitter.

Musk was on the cutting edge of online payment and was worth more than $175 million by 31. Musk helped found the company X.com, which later merged with online payment giant PayPal.

Musk became the CEO of the merged company and ran it for several years before being fired due to allegations of an erratic management style and failing to bring together employees from both companies around a sole vision.

Musk’s exit from PayPal in 2000, has echoes in his current stir-up with Twitter. Paypal was about to be bought by eBay and go public, something Musk was against. However, when PayPal did go public, he ended up as the largest single shareholder of PayPal and profited hundreds of millions of dollars after the company went public following his ouster.

However, Musk was impulsive after the fallout and insisted that no one could use the name x.com, so he bought the domain for a cool $10 million.

During his first major public fall-out, Musk’s actions could indicate his next move during the potential deal to buy Twitter.

Musk revealed in regulatory filings over recent weeks that he’d been buying Twitter shares in almost daily batches starting Jan. 31, ending up with a stake of about 9%. Only Vanguard Group controls more Twitter shares.

After Musk announced his stake, Twitter quickly offered him a seat on its board on the condition that he does not own more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding stock. But the company said five days later that he’d declined. The decision coincided with a barrage of now-deleted and not-always-serious tweets from Musk proposing major changes to the company, such as dropping ads — its chief source of revenue — and transforming its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.

Twitter revealed in a securities filing Thursday that Musk has offered to buy the company outright for more than $43 billion, saying the social media platform “needs to be transformed as a private company” to build trust with its users.

Much of Musk’s money is tied up in Tesla stock — he owns about 17% of the company, according to FactSet, which is valued at more than $1 trillion — and SpaceX, his privately held space company. So it’s unclear how much cash Musk has.

The billionaire has been a vocal critic of Twitter, mostly over his stated belief that it falls short on free-speech principles. Musk has described himself as a “free-speech absolutist” but is also known for blocking other Twitter users who question or disagree with him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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