Billionaire Ron Baron was promised he would make “two to three times” his money when he invested $100 million in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s take-private deal for Twitter, Baron said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
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 billionaire 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.
“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.” Shortly after Musk closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late 2022, the company executed mass layoffs, revoked a “forever” work-from-home policy, and been taken to court multiple times for failure to pay bills, including private jet bills and rent at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
On Sunday, Musk said that 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 continued.