Elon Musk was Offered $5 Billion by FTX CEO for Twitter Investment: Emails

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, reached out to Tesla CEO Elon Musk back in April and offered an investment of up to $5 billion USD in the latter’s $44 billion bid to acquire Twitter, according to internal emails shared by @TechEmails.

Michael Grimes, the Head of Global Technology Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley and an investment banker Musk was working with on the Twitter deal, made contact with Bankman-Fried and approached Musk to set up a meeting between the two.

Bankman-Fried wanted a piece of Musk’s Twitter acquisition, but he also wanted to talk about a $1-5 billion investment from Musk for “social media blockchain integration.” Musk wasn’t interested, telling Grimes that “Blockchain Twitter isn’t possible.”

“Absent the blockchain piece he’s focused on investing if you want his interest in Twitter,” Grimes told Musk. The investment banker said Bankman-Fried could put down “at least” $3 billion for the Twitter deal if Musk likes him and wants him to be a part of it.

Judging by the emails, Musk was skeptical of the FTX founder’s offer. “Does Sam actually have $3B liquid?” Musk asked Grimes in one of the emails.

Nothing ever came of the proposal, and Musk didn’t take Bankman-Fried’s money (if there ever was any). Musk went on to complete his acquisition of Twitter last month, replacing Parag Agrawal as CEO. “He set off my BS detector, which is why I did not think he had $3B,” Musk revealed in a Friday tweet.

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. on Friday after spectacularly crashing and burning in the days prior. Bankman-Fried also stepped down as CEO.

The exchange ran into liquidity issues earlier in the week and suspended withdrawals. FTX was looking for a cash injection, and it struck up a non-binding acquisition deal with Binance. However, the latter pulled out of the deal on Wednesday due to “corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations.”

Even bankruptcy didn’t bring an end to FTX’s woes, though. On top of the alleged misappropriation of customer funds reportedly landing FTX in hot water with regulatory authorities, more than $600 million in crypto disappeared from the exchange late Friday in what it claims was a “hack.”