Elon Musk was contacted by the advisor of the FTX owner in March regarding joining the takeover proposal, but it appears that nothing came of the private conversations.
Sam Bankman-Fried, a cryptocurrency billionaire and the CEO of the exchange FTX, “was interested” in acquiring the social network back in March 2022, according to a Business Insider report.
The article, which was issued on September 29, makes reference to personal texts that were made public during the legal dispute between Musk and Twitter, which was winding down after the tycoon halted the takeover talks in July.
The report claims that in March, Bankman-Fried’s close advisor Will MacAskill, a philosopher, texted Musk to discuss the potential of working together to acquire the social network.
“I’m not sure if this is what’s on your mind, but my collaborator Sam Bankman-Fried has for a while been potentially interested in purchasing it and then making it better for the world. If you want to talk with him about a possible joint effort in that direction.”
Musk responded by asking if Bankman-Fried had “huge amounts of money,” to which MacAskill said that SBF was valued at $24 billion and prepared to spend $8 to $15 billion on the acquisition. Later in April, Michael Grimes, the head of Morgan Stanley’s global technology investment banking, and MacAskill spoke about the financing.
The latter identified him as a “ultra genius and doer builder” and informed Musk that the cryptocurrency tycoon could contribute $5 billion to complete the transaction. Musk, though, displayed little enthusiasm and said he didn’t want to “have a laborious blockchain debate” with SBF.
These confidential discussions looked to have come to naught because neither Bankman-Fried personally nor FTX were on the list of potential co-investors in the transaction, which also included companies like Binance, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity, and Sequoia Capital. Musk reportedly texted Bankman-Fried one last time on May 5 and he replied, “Sorry, who is sending this message?”
Musk cited Twitter’s failure to disclose the true number of fake/bot accounts, which he said exceeded 5% of the social network management’s estimated daily monetizable users, as justification for his decision to pull out of the arrangement. The lawsuit filed by Twitter will have its initial hearing on October 17. The company planned to use legal means to compel Musk to complete the deal.