The Twitter Millionaires

With its high profile IPO last Thursday, Twitter made many new millionaires. Priced at $26 a share, Twitter shares started trading at around $45 on its first day, closing at $44.90. This means that early investors who bought shares at the offer price, like clients of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan, were able to secure a profit of at least 72.7% during this first trading day.
But Twitter's owners were not left out. On Thursday, many of Twitter's key players from the early days had their efforts rewarded. Evan Williams, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, owns 10.4% of the company, which amounted to over $2.04 billion as of last weekend. Jack Dorsey, also co-founder of the microblogging website and current CEO of Square, owns 4.3% of the company which are worth over $846 million. Finally, Dick Costolo, current CEO, owns 1.4% of the company for a total value of $275 million.

Interestingly, none of these important owners are looking to sell their shares in the company. By staying financially engaged in the company, they are sending a message to the markets, saying that they are trying to build a long-term business. As for other employees, if they have stock options, it is very unlikely that they will exercise them in the near future: most stock options have lockups that will expire in 6 months. Moreover, about half of Twitter's 2300-employee workforce was hired over the last year, making the number of stock options distributed so far very limited.

-Mickael R'bibo