CalPERS Stands to Gain from Twitter Sale, but by Less than Expected

By David G. Barry


Elon Musk’s agreement to buy Twitter will not have the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) or the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) necessarily sending exuberant tweets.

Musk reached a deal Monday to buy the social network for $44 billion, or $54.20 a share.
According to its annual report of its investment holdings, CalPERS as of June 30 owned nearly 1.75 million shares, which under Musk’s deal would be $94.7 million. In its report, the $477 billion fund listed the book value of its holdings at $66.7 million – so it would see a gain from the purchase. However, those shares had a market value at that time of $120.2 million. CalPERS also said it owned a portion of a Twitter corporate bond which is scheduled to mature in December 2027. CalPERS said that as of June, it had a par value of $10.5 million, a book value of $10.53 million and a market value of $11.1 million.

CalSTRS, meanwhile, owned nearly 1.4 million shares as of June 30 that at the time had a market value of $95.8 million. Under Musk’s offer, the $320 billion pension fund’s shares would be worth $75.4 million.

Another pension fund that has been undoubtedly closely watching Musk’s move to buy Twitter is the Orlando Police Pension Fund, which last year sued the company’s board over self-interested duty breaches related to its decision to sell a $1 billion stake to private equity firm Silver Lake when the company was under attack by activist investor Elliot Management.

Katrina Laudeman, treasurer with the City of Orlando, told Markets Group that the Police Pension Fund still owns Twitter, but that the city does not comment on matters while litigation is pending. The Delaware Chancery Court paused the case for six months in November.


The Florida State Board of Administration also will vote its 808,093 Twitter shares in favor of Musk’s purchase, according to reporting by Pensions & Investments and Bloomberg. Two of three SBA’s three trustees, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have come out in favor of Musk’s deal.

Vanguard Group is the biggest shareholder in Twitter with a 10.8% stake. Morgan Stanley owns 8.8% while BlackRock has 6.8% and State Street 4.8%.