Crypto-billionaire and FTX exchange CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been reported by Business Insider to be interested in acquiring social network Twitter in March 2022.
Business Insider refers to private correspondence made public during a legal battle between Musk and Twitter, which began after the businessman suspended talks to acquire the social network in July.
According to the report, in March, Will MacAskill, a close advisor to Bankman-Fried, texted Musk the following:
“I’m not sure if this is what’s on your mind, but my colleague Sam Bankman-Fried has been potentially interested in buying and then making it better for the world for some time now. If you’d like to talk to him about a possible joint effort in that direction.”
In response, Musk asked if Bankman-Fried had “that much money” and MacAskill said that Bankman-Fried was willing to spend between $8 billion and $15 billion on the acquisition. Later in April, MacAskill discussed the financial issue with Michael Grimes, head of Morgan Stanley’s global technology investment banking division. The latter told Musk that the crypto-entrepreneur could provide $5 billion to complete the deal. But Musk showed little interest in the offer, noting that he did not want to “have a time-consuming debate about blockchain” with Bankman-Fried.
These private talks apparently ended up going nowhere, as neither Bankman-Fried personally nor FTX were on the list of potential co-investors in the acquisition, which included the likes of Binance, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity and Sequoia Capital. In the last known text message between Musk and Bankman-Fried on 5 May, the former asked, “Excuse me, who sent this message?”
Elon Musk has accused Twitter of hiding the real number of fake accounts/bots, which he estimates exceeds 5% of monetisable daily active users (mDAUs) – the number that the social network’s management has announced. The first hearing on Twitter’s lawsuit will take place on 17 October. The company intends to force Musk to complete the deal in court.