Elon Musk said in a tweet on Sunday that he is “moving on” from “making fun” of Bill Gates.
Musk had previously confirmed a leaked text conversation in he calls out Gates for shorting Tesla stock.
The Tesla CEO also posted a meme mocking Gates’s weight on Friday.
Elon Musk said he’s “moving on” from “making fun” of Bill Gates after leaked texts revealed the Microsoft founder shorted Tesla.
After Musk initially shared a vague tweet on Sunday that led many to speculate he may be halting recent attempts to buy out Twitter, the billionaire Tesla CEO followed up to clarify the post was in reference to Gates. On Friday, Musk confirmed the veracity of leaked texts between the two tech moguls in which Musk turned down a request from Gates to discuss a possible philanthropic venture because of his “massive short position against Tesla.”
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk wrote in a text to Gates, according to the screenshots.
The text came after Musk asked if Gates still had “a half billion dollar short position against Tesla.” A short position usually involves betting a stock’s value will fall by selling a borrowed stock with the intention of buying it back later at a lower price.
“Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out,” Gates replied, according to the screenshots. “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”
Musk subsequently posted a meme on Friday that showed a photo of Gates juxtaposed next to an image of a pregnant man emoji, seemingly mocking his weight.
Musk’s clarification about his initial tweet came after several users asked if it meant he was backing off from his attempt to purchase Twitter. The move has caused an uproar in which experts have predicted Musk may move forward with a hostile takeover of the social platform.
On Thursday, Musk confirmed he secured funding to purchase Twitter from banks and other entities, stating in a regulatory filing on Thursday that he had committed “to provide an aggregate of approximately $46.5 billion” to buy the company.
The filing was a response to Twitter’s “poison pill” defense to block Musk’s bid — a tactic also known as a shareholders’ rights plan, which essentially dilutes shares of a company by increasing the total number of shares on the market in an effort to avoid being acquired against their will.
The shareholders’ rights plan, filed by Twitter in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday, would be activated if any “entity, person, or group” obtained more than 15% of Twitter’s shares. Musk currently owns 9.1% of the company’s stock.
Confirming the funding, however, puts Musk in a position to use a traditional hostile takeover approach called a tender offer in which Musk can offer shareholders cash for their stock at a higher price than it’s valued on the market. His next move at this point remains to be seen.
Earlier this month, Musk was appointed to Twitter’s board of directors after announcing his large stake in the company, a position he at first accepted before turning it down. Just days later, he made a bid to buy the social media company.
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