Elon Musk says Bankman-Fried owns 0% of Twitter, despite reports of a $100 million stake

Elon Musk has clarified that Sam Bankman-Fried does not own any stake in Twitter. This follows an article published by Semafor (a publication supported by Bankman-Fried) suggesting his $100 million investment in the Twitter buyout.

Elon Musk on SBF’s alleged investment in Twitter

Elon Musk clarified that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the co-founder and former CEO of FTX, currently owns 0% of Twitter.

The confirmation follows an article published Wednesday by Semafor, a Bankman-Fried-backed publication, indicating that SBF owns a $100 million stake in Twitter. The article claimed to have obtained a private text message between Musk and Bankman-Fried as evidence of this stake.

Semafor made its debut on October 18, just weeks before the FTX collapse began. The crypto-currency exchange filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 11 and SBF stepped down as CEO.

Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday, “Semafor is owned by SBF. This is a massive conflict of interest in your reporting“. Responding to an editor at the publication who insisted that he had taken money from SBF, Musk tweeted:

As I said, neither I nor Twitter have taken any investment from SBF/FTX. Your article is a lie.

The publisher of the SBF-backed publication tweeted the text message in question on Thursday. In the message, Bankman-Fried claimed to own more than $100 million in Twitter stock that he wanted to “roll up” if possible. Musk responded with a standard answer he gave to all Twitter shareholders. “You’re welcome to drive“, he wrote. However, the text message does not confirm whether the transaction took place.

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The Semafor reporter took the text message as confirmation that Bankman-Fried does own a $100 million stake in Twitter, and that he did so when Musk bought the social media company in late October and took it private.

Elon Musk responded by saying that all public shareholders of the company were allowed to transfer their shares into Twitter as a private company. However, the Tesla boss pointed out that Bankman-Fried did not transfer anything and therefore does not own any stake in Twitter. “Your reporting falsely gave the impression that he did“.

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The article also states that Musk texted Bankman-Fried and “invited him to transfer the $100 million stake.“However, it appears from the text message that it was SBF who sent the text message to Musk and that the Tesla CEO did not even know who the message was from.

Many people on Twitter agree with Elon Musk that the message does not prove that SBF actually transferred shares in Twitter, the private company. One user described:

Looks like he [Elon Musk] didn’t really know who he was talking to and simply gave the same answer he has given publicly, that large shareholders could transfer their shares into the new company. Musk also denied that this actually happened.

Twitter users also attacked the SBF-backed publication for its conflict of interest. “It’s extremely crazy how they attack ANYONE near SBF, but leave it untouched or barely touched with mild criticism that you have to reread 3 or 4 times before it sounds like criticism“, one pointed out. Another user asked, “How much money did Semafor take from SBF and what was the financial deal? This seems important.

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