Billionaire Ron Baron said Tuesday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested he would make multiples in return for his $100 million investment in Musk’s take-private deal for Twitter.
“He told me he thought I was going to make two or three times my money over three years,” Baron said on “Squawk Box.”
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Baron has long been bullish on Tesla, telling CNBC’s Becky Quick that Musk made Baron “$5 billion so far, on a $400 million investment.” In 2021, the investor told CNBC that he held almost 6 million Tesla shares through his investment firm, Baron Capital.
Baron’s $100 million Twitter investment was predicated on his longtime faith in Musk as an executive and in his marketing expertise, he said.
“I don’t want to talk more about Twitter, because I’m not the expert on it yet, but he explained when we made our investment that he saw that there was a lot of cost there, it was incredibly poorly run,” Baron said Tuesday.
Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been fraught and, by Musk’s own acknowledgment, “extremely tough.” Since he closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October, the company has executed mass layoffs, revoked a “forever” work-from-home policy, and been sued multiple times for failure to pay bills, including private jet bills and rent at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
On Sunday, Musk said Twitter was “now trending to breakeven.”
Baron wasn’t shaken by Twitter’s apparent close shave with bankruptcy.
“He’s the best-known man in the world, I guess,” Baron said. “Everyone else spends $1,000 to market a car, he spends nothing, because everyone knows Twitter.”
“He spends nothing because everyone knows who he is,” Baron said.
Correction: Billionaire Ron Baron said Tuesday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested Baron would make multiples in return for his $100 million investment in Musk’s take-private deal for Twitter. The nature of Musk’s comment was misstated in an earlier version of this article.