Twitter-backer knocks billions off its value after Musk’s ‘go f— yourself’ outburst


Fidelity, which helped Mr Musk buy the company in 2022, has slashed the value of its investment – Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

An investor in Twitter has written down the value of its stake by $2.85bn (£2.2bn) after Elon Musk told boycotting advertisers to “go f— yourself”.

Fidelity, which helped Mr Musk buy the company for $44bn (£35bn) in 2022, now believes the company is worth 71.5pc less than at the time of purchase.

The US investment giant had already slashed the value of its investment by 65pc at the end of October but deepened the discount in November. It came in the same month that Twitter’s billionaire owner launched a tirade against advertisers.

Speaking at a New York Times conference, Mr Musk claimed a boycott by advertisers was going to “kill” the company, adding: “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f— yourself.”

Apple, IBM and Disney are among the major brands to cut ties with the social media platform, amid concerns about lax moderation under Mr Musk and the billionaire’s freewheeling personal style.

Fidelity’s valuation cut, which was first reported by Axios, gives the company a notional value of just $12.5bn and suggests Twitter has lost $2.85bn of worth in the eyes of Fidelity in just four weeks.

The investment group, which contributed more than $300m to Mr Musk’s takeover, does not disclose how it values privately held companies. Other shareholders may value their stakes differently.

However, Twitter’s own internal stock plan for staff valued the company at just $19bn in October – less than half the sum Mr Musk paid for it.

Twitter, now known as X, has undergone a turbulent period under the ownership of the Tesla billionaire. The debt-fuelled takeover has left the company struggling to break even and Mr Musk has slashed thousands and introduced subscription fees in response.

Worsening the debt crisis is the reluctance of advertisers to work with the platform since the takeover.

Twitter is believed to have lost 60pc of its advertisers after the takeover amid concerns brands were appearing alongside harmful material. The European Commission has opened an investigation into the company over its alleged role in disseminating propaganda relating to Hamas.

Mr Musk has also been accused of personally promoting anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories, though he has insisted he is against anti-Semitism of any kind.

Linda Yaccarino, who replaced Mr Musk as Twitter chief executive in June, has been scrambling to revive revenues and has staged a charm offensive with advertisers in a bid to win back trust.