Elon Musk biography reveals how he turned down $5billion offer from FTX fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried who wanted to invest in Twitter: ‘My bulls**t detector went off’
In April 2022, Musk launched his Twitter takeover in a bid to rid it of what he perceived to be an inherent left-wing bias. He was looking for investors to support the deal, and received a $1billion commitment from his friend Larry Ellison.
Sam Bankman-Fried – the alleged conman awaiting trial for one of the largest financial frauds in US history – was eager to become involved.
Though he’d never met Musk, he contacted his banker, Michael Grimes, along with William MacAskill, asking them to set up a meeting.
Elon Musk turned down an offer from Sam Bankman-Fried, who offered $5billion and a plan to integrate blockchain into the new Twitter, in May 2022
According to Musk’s new biography released today, he didn’t agree with Bankman-Fried’s belief that Twitter could operate successfully on blockchain.
Eventually, SBF texted him directly telling him he would convert the $100million in Twitter shares that he owned into a stake in the new company once Musk took it private.
‘Really excited about what you’ll do with TWTR,’ he said, before offering to ‘roll’ the shares.
Walter Isaacson’s new biography, Elon Musk, was published today
According to the biography, Musk replied: ‘Sorry, who is sending this message?’
SBF then apologized and introduced himself, but it did nothing to tempt Musk towards his offer.
‘You’re welcome to roll,’ he replied.
In May 2022, still eager to get in on the deal, SBF called Musk to plead his case.
‘My bulls**t detector went off like red alert on a Geiger counter,’ recalls Musk in the biography.
‘He was talking like he was on speed or Adderall, a mile a minute.
‘I thought he was supposed to be asking me questions about the deal, but he kept telling me the things he was doing.
‘And I was thinking, “dude, calm down.”‘
Biographer Walter Isaacson writes that the feeling was ‘mutual’.
‘Bankman-Fried thought Musk seemed nuts. The call lasted a half-hour and Bankman-Fried ended up neither investing nor rolling over his Twitter stock,’ he writes.
The top investors, in the end, were Ellison, Sequoia Capital, crypto exchange platform Binance, a Dubai-based fund and a Qatari-fund.
Part of the deal to secure the Qatari investment was that Musk would attend the final of the World Cup.
He was photographed at the event along with Jared Kushner. SBF is currently in custody in New York City awaiting trial.
He is charged with swindling $8billion from customers and investors of his now defunct crypto exchange platform FTX.