Twitter’s market value has declined to just one-third of what Elon Musk and his group of investors paid for it last year, according to a new estimate of the social media platform’s valuation by Fidelity.
Musk and his co-investors acquired Twitter for $44 billion last year, a price Musk has acknowledged was excessive. About $25 billion of that came from Musk himself, giving him an estimated 79% stake in the company.
Fidelity was part of the investment group that helped Musk take over Twitter in a deal consisting of $33.5 billion in equity with the remainder financed with debt to convert it into a privately held company after the deal closed in October.
A financial disclosure from the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund that was filed for the month of April showed that the company marked down its stake in Twitter and estimated the social media platform is now worth roughly $15 billion. Bloomberg first reported the filing.
Fidelity previously marked down the value of its stake in Twitter by 56% in November 2022, 9.6% in December, then another 7.9% cut in February prior to the latest markdown.
Since taking over Twitter, Musk made significant cuts to the company’s workforce and announced shortly after the deal was completed that about half of the company’s 7,500-person workforce would be affected.
He said at the time the layoffs were "unfortunately necessary" to stave off bankruptcy because the platform was losing about $4 million per day.
In March, Musk offered Twitter employees stock option grants that valued the company at about $20 billion, less than half of the purchase price, according to The Wall Street Journal.
At the time, Musk wrote in an email to employees, "I see a clear, but difficult, path to a >$250B valuation."
Musk said in March he believes Twitter may break even in the second quarter of 2023, and the platform has "a shot at being cash flow positive next quarter" although he doesn’t want to "count chickens before they hatch."