Elon Musk estimates Twitter’s current value at $20 billion, less than half of the $44 billion he paid for the social media platform five months ago, according to an internal email seen by US news outlets.
The email to employees was about a new stock compensation program in the San Francisco-based company and the award to employees of shares in X Holdings, Twitter’s umbrella company since Musk bought it in late October.
The compensation plan values the platform at $20 billion, slightly more than Snap ($18.2 billion), Snapchat’s parent company, or social network and creative website Pinterest ($18.7 billion), both of which, unlike Twitter, are publicly traded.
An AFP email query sent to Twitter’s communications department generated an automatic response in the form of a poop emoji.
In the internal email, Musk describes the brutal contraction in Twitter’s value. He says the platform had such serious financial problems that at one point it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
“Twitter was trending to lose $3 billion a year,” Musk said in a message posted to the platform on Saturday.
He cited a drop in sales of $1.5 billion a year and debt of the same amount – leaving it with “only 4 months of money”.
Musk, Twitter’s majority shareholder, simply added: “Extremely dire situation.”
But then he said that with advertisers — many of whom fled the platform after the mercurial billionaire bought it — now starting to return, “It looks like we’ll break even” in the second quarter of the year.
Since taking charge, Musk has slashed the group’s payroll from 7,500 to fewer than 2,000 employees.
He said in the email that he sees a “clear but difficult path” to a $250 billion valuation, without saying how long that could take.
Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Inc. and aerospace group SpaceX, said Twitter would allow employees of the social network to redeem shares every six months.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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