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Who owned Twitter before Elon Musk?

·2-min read
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Elon Musk, whether he ends up buying the whole company or not, is one of a range of media moguls and billionaires with a history with Twitter.

The Tesla boss’s $54.20 per share cash offer for the company is now going to court, where a judge will decide whether he will be forced to buy the company or be allowed to get out of the deal.

But Twitter has a had a whole host of owners in the past, before Mr Musk began buying up his stake and then made his offer.

Twitter, which was founded by Jack Dorsey in 2006, along with Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, is mostly owned by large, institutional investors, according to a regulatory filing by the company on 12 April to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Vanguard Group became the biggest Twitter shareholder in April, ahead of Mr Musk, with a 10.3 per cent stake in the company which is held by a combination of its investment funds, according to investopedia.com.

Mr Musk himself holds 9.2 per cent of the company, followed by Morgan Stanley Investment Management with 8.4 per cent.

BlackRock and StateStreet, both investment companies, each own 4.75 per cent of the company.

Mr Dorsey owns 2.4 per cent of Twitter, which under the Musk deal of $54.20 per share in cash would be worth around $978bn.

Other board members, such as Martha Lane Fox, Robert Zoellick, Omid Kordestani, and current board chair Bret Taylor would receive payouts of between $1m and $50m based on their holdings.

A number of current Twitter executives, such as CEO Parag Agrawal also own large stakes in the company, in addition to enormous severance packages they would receive if not kept on by Mr Musk.

Mr Agrawal owns around 128,000 shares, which would be worth around $7m under Mr Musk’s deal, chief financial officer Ned Segal holds 394,000 worth $21m, general council Vijaya Gadde had 600,000 shares worth $32m and chief customer officer, Sarah Personette, has 143,000 shares worth more than $7m.

Twitter’s 7,000 employees have also been able to buy shares in the company at a discounted price, starting in 2013.

Under the company’s equity compensation plans, up to 41.7m shares can be issued, which would be worth more than $2.2bn.

This article was originally published in April. It has been updated to reflect the changes in Mr Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter.

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