Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has created three Delaware-based holding companies in his recent bid to acquire Twitter, raising the possibility of a broader umbrella company for the investor’s numerous business interests.
These holding companies, named “X Holdings I,” “X Holdings II,” and “X Holdings III,” were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, stating that all three companies were established in order to acquire or merge with Twitter.
The naming convention revolving around the letter “X” is a perennial feature of Musk’s business enterprises. Musk launched his career on the success of X.com, which was merged with Confinity to form the company now known as PayPal in 2000, and he continued his loyalty to the 24th letter in the names of his aerospace startup SpaceX and the Tesla SUV Model X. The letter has even featured prominently in the names of Musk’s children, with the most infamous example being his son “X Æ A-Xii Musk,” for whom the letter stands alone as a legally given name.
The creation of these companies hints at the possibility of roping Musk’s business empire under a single umbrella company called “X,” a concept that the tech entrepreneur first floated in 2020.
At its most expansive, such a company would include Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, making for a diverse and multifaceted enterprise. At current levels, the other subsidiaries of this hypothetical umbrella corp would be dwarfed by Tesla, which is by far the most valuable of Musk’s business interests with a market cap of over 1 trillion dollars.
However, such an eclectic umbrella company is still a long way from fruition, as Musk’s takeover of Twitter remains an ongoing process with no guarantee of success.
Throughout the controversy, Musk has presented himself as a proponent of free speech, disillusioned with Twitter’s content moderation and censorship policies. Fears that a Musk takeover of Twitter could result in a more open information policy have galvanized the progressive left, who complain that Musk’s views about free speech would have a deleterious effect on women and minorities on the platform.
On Tuesday, Musk made further headlines in the ongoing battle over Twitter, when the electric car tycoon tweeted, “_______ is the Night.” Though cryptic, this statement is widely interpreted as a reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “Tender is the Night”, alluding to the concept of a “tender offer”—a proposal to buy shares of a company directly from stakeholders, bypassing the approval of the company’s board of directors.
_______ is the Night
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Musk has largely attempted to keep his cards close to his chest through much of the acquisition process, notably refusing to elaborate upon his “Plan B” should the attempted acquisition of Twitter fail.
However, the South African-born entrepreneur has seemingly been unable to resist the temptation to drop hints as to his intentions. With the formation of the three aforementioned holding companies, Musk has provided what may be valuable information for assessing his future intentions in his ongoing struggle to acquire Twitter.