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The Margin: Elon Musk suggests Twitter worth under $20 billion — or less than half what he paid for it 

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022. Less than six months later, it may be worth less than half that. 

That’s according to an email that Musk shared with Twitter employees, which was viewed by the Wall Street Journal. In the note, Musk reportedly said that employees will receive stock awards based on a roughly $20 billion valuation for the company he took private last fall. 

“I see a clear, but difficult, path to a >$250B valuation,” Musk reportedly added in the email, in which he also described Twitter as “an inverse startup” due to how rapidly he’s reshaping the social-media platform. 

The Wall Street Journal also noted that Fidelity — one of the co-investors that backed Musk’s Twitter takeover — wrote down its stake in Twitter by 56% in November, according to public filings.

Twitter representatives were not immediately available for comment. In fact, Twitter’s press email responded with a poop emoji, which Musk has said will be the company’s automatic response to media requests moving forward. 

Musk’s ownership of Twitter has gotten off to a tumultuous start, including mass layoffs — and an uncomfortable public exchange with a wheelchair-bound former Twitter staffer — along with many advertisers leaving the platform, struggles with misinformation, as well as a rocky initial rollout of the Twitter Blue subscription service. 

The Federal Trade Commission has also sent a dozen letters to Twitter since Musk took over, according to a Journal report earlier this month, requesting more information about the layoffs, Twitter Blue and journalists being granted access to internal information.

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