X is officially worth less than half of what Elon Musk paid for it

Everyone knew that Twitter wasn’t worth $44 billion when Elon Musk bought it a year ago. Now, we know what Musk himself thinks the company is worth today: $19 billion.

On Monday, employees at X were awarded equity in the company at a valuation of $19 billion, or $45 per share, according to internal documents seen by The Verge. That price is a 55 percent discount to Musk’s original purchase price, per the documents. They note that “the fair market value per share is determined by the Board of Directors based on a number of factors in a manner that complies with applicable tax rules.” (Musk has yet to create a formal board for X.)

Since he took over Twitter, Musk has said he wants to mold the company’s compensation plan after SpaceX, which is also privately held but lets employees regularly cash out a portion of their shares to outside investors.

The type of equity X is giving employees is called restricted stock units, or RSUs. These RSUs are earned, or vest, for employees over a period of four years from the grant date and require a “liquidity event,” such as an IPO, to be taxed as income, the internal company documents sent Monday explain. (Fortune first reported that X was valuing itself at $19 billion.)

Until now, employees at X have been working there without the knowledge of what the company is worth since he bought it. Monday’s stock awards finally answer that question, though it seems that Musk’s valuation may still be too generous; one of his big investors, Fidelity, thinks X is worth 65 percent less than when he bought it.

Source: The Verge

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