Can you imagine Sam Bankman-Fried owning Twitter? Today it sounds crazy, but not long ago it was a real possibility. At least, until the appearance on the scene of a subject named Elon Musk. This is confirmed by a report by journalist Liz Hoffman, in traffic light.
It is that the former CEO of FTX himself tried to move forward with the acquisition of the social network, in full moment of bonanza. To the point of buying shares of Twitter for about 100 million dollars at the beginning of this year, before abandoning the initiative.
However, Sam Bankman-Fried was close to being one of the investors who would finance the acquisition of the social network by Elon Musk. What’s more, both entrepreneurs were in telephone contact to share their vision, although in the end the young crypto entrepreneur chose not to contribute funds to the cause.
The then executive director of FTX withdrew from being an investor in the purchase of Twitter because, according to his words, he had to “maintain a low profile” before an imminent hearing before the United States Congress. Despite this, he did promise to keep the money from his shares in the company as a collaboration, once the agreement was finalized.
Sam Bankman-Fried wanted to buy Twitter to “make it better for the world”
Will MacAskill, one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s advisors, was the one who established the bridge between the young businessman and Elon Musk. As it became known in the trial documents between the tycoon and Twitter, the first communication between the parties occurred at the end of March of this year.
Around this time, MacAskill contacted the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and told him that the FTX co-founder had been “potentially interested” in buying Twitter for a while. And he assured that his idea was “do better for the world”and that he was open to the possibility of a joint effort to acquire the social network.
Neither slow nor lazy, Elon Musk asked him if Sam Bankman-Fried had “enormous amounts of money”, to which the adviser replied that -at that time- his fortune was $24 billion. Regarding his investment possibilities, meanwhile, he indicated that allocating $1,000 to $3,000 million would be “easy”; that having $3,000 to $8,000 million would be “feasible”; and that it could contribute up to $15,000 million, but with external financing.
Despite some exchange of messages with SBF, the story did not seem to seduce Elon Musk too much. To the point that it was his own lawyer, Michael Grimes, who insisted at the end of April to receive it personally. “I really think you’ll like it,” he told the mogul, whom he assured the FTX co-founder was willing to put up $5 billion, which could rise to $10 billion.
A story that did not come to fruition
Sometime after Grimes’s message, Elon Musk and Sam Bankman-Fried talked on the phone, and the above happened: the FTX leader ultimately opted out. However, in early May he confirmed that he would keep his $100 million of Twitter shares within the company.
In fact, traffic light mentions that an FTX balance sheet from October 28 lists Twitter shares as “illiquid assets.”
It is worth clarifying that Sam Bankman-Fried’s interest in buying Twitter had previously been reported. In fact, Axios published a report on the matter in early October. However, the recent bankruptcy of the exchange of cryptocurrencies, added to Elon Musk’s public criticism of the young businessman, allow us to see the story from a different perspective.
“Everyone was talking about him as if he could walk on water and had a trillion dollars. And that was not my impression. There was something wrong,” said the new owner of Twitter in a Space after the bankruptcy of FTX. The truth is that, although now he openly treats him as a liar, a few months ago Musk considered Sam Bankman-Fried as a possible investor; and the money that corresponds to the crypto entrepreneur for his actions is still within the social network.