Twitter takeover won’t damage Tesla, insists Musk after electric car firm’s shares plummet 30%
Elon Musk has insisted his £35billion takeover of Twitter will not distract him from Tesla.
The world’s richest man, 50, is seeking to secure the backing of Twitter shareholders to take the social media platform private.
But the audacious move has heightened concerns that Musk will be diverted from the electric car maker Tesla, whose shares fell another 7 per cent last night.
Distraction? Tesla boss Elon Musk (pictured) is seeking to secure the backing of Twitter shareholders to take the social media platform private
The stock is now down 35 per cent since he took a stake in Twitter before agreeing the takeover.
Musk, who has a fortune of around £200billion and more than 90million Twitter followers, already runs Tesla and rocket company Space X.
He also founded, and is heavily involved in, the brain-chip start-up company Neuralink and tunnelling venture The Boring Company.
But Musk brushed aside concerns that his Twitter interest will have on sales at Tesla.
‘We are able to sell all the cars we can make,’ he told the Financial Times, adding: ‘Even before there was supply chain issues, Tesla demand exceeded production.’
But while demand remains strong, a shortage of parts and problems at the Tesla plant in Shanghai require attention.
His planned takeover of Twitter is controversial – sparking howls of protest from the Left.
Musk, who describes himself as a ‘free speech absolutist’ and has promised to radically overhaul the platform, has blasted Twitter’s ‘strong left bias’ and said he would reverse the ‘foolish’ ban on former US president Donald Trump.
Musk said: ‘I would reverse the ban – but I don’t own Twitter yet. I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake.’
Trump was banned in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol in January 2021, which he was blamed for inciting after he lost the US election.
Musk also admitted the Twitter takeover could still take at least three months.
He added: ‘I think there’s still a lot of things that need to get done before this deal concludes. There are still some outstanding questions that need to be resolved – it is certainly not a done deal.
‘The best-case scenario would be that this would be perhaps done in two or three months.’ Musk said last month he wants to turn Twitter into a haven for free speech.
But Twitter shares continue to trade well below the $54.20 offered by Musk, in a sign that investors doubt the deal will go through.
Conservative MP Julian Knight, the chairman of the House of Commons digital committee, has written to the tycoon, inviting him to outline his plans to Parliament.
And last month the Business Minister Paul Scully said that the Tesla owner’s aims for Twitter were ‘noble’ but it was ‘difficult to say’ whether the takeover would be good or bad for competition.