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Elon Musk is no longer Twitter's largest shareholder and says he is 'not sure' his takeover bid will succeed

Business Insider US
Elon Musk. Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Elon Musk. Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk, who has a 9.2% stake in Twitter, is no longer its largest shareholder.
  • Vanguard Group said its funds now own a 10.3% stake, according to a recent SEC filing.
  • Musk said on Thursday he is "not sure" whether his $43 billion (R629 billion) takeover bid for Twitter will be successful.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk has lost his position as Twitter's largest shareholder as he attempts to buy the company in a $43 billion (R629 billion) deal.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss said in early April he had become Twitter's largest shareholder, having built a 9.2% stake in the micro-blogging platform. 

However, he has now lost the top spot, as asset manager Vanguard Group said in a filing lodged recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission that, as of 8 April, its funds now own a 10.3% stake in the company that is worth $3.6 billion (R52 billion) based on Friday's close.

The filing shows Vanguard increased its stake in Twitter over the course of the first quarter.

On Thursday, the world's richest man unveiled a $43 billion (R629 billion) bid for the entire company, in a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Musk is still the largest individual shareholder, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is the second largest, but he said on Thursday that he is "not sure" whether his takeover bid will be successful, hours after making the offer.

"I am not sure that I will actually be able to acquire it," Musk said while speaking at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver on Thursday.

Musk said that he had a "Plan B" if his bid was unsuccessful, but did not elaborate on what that would be.

Speaking to TED chief Chris Anderson, Musk explained that he made the offer because he believes it is important to have an "inclusive arena for free speech."

"This is not a way to make money," Musk said. "My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization."

In a letter to Twitter's chairman on Wednesday, Musk said his $54.20 (R790)-per-share offer was his "best and final" offer.

He said if the offer isn't accepted, he may dump his massive stake in the company and walk away entirely.

Twitter confirmed Thursday that it had received "an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Elon Musk" and said it would "carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all Twitter stockholders."

Musk tweeted on Thursday that it would be "utterly indefensible" for Twitter to not put his offer to a shareholder vote.

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