Musk’s Buyout Offer Is Accepted by Twitter.
Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter Inc. TWTR 5.66 percent and go private was accepted, giving the world’s richest person control over the social-media network where he is also one of its most influential users.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is known for using Twitter to tease out various ideas he has about his business interests, cryptocurrency, politics, and life in general, but it appears that one of his biggest musings is coming to fruition today. Musk has accepted Twitter’s offer to buy the publicly traded company for $54.20 per share, valuing the social media platform at $44 billion.
Twitter issued a press release shortly after news of the trading halt broke, confirming that it had accepted Musk’s offer to take the social network private.
“We believe the proposed transaction will provide a significant cash premium to Twitter’s stockholders, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Musk reiterated in the press release that “free speech” is critical to Twitter’s future, despite the fact that most of his suggestions for improving the social network, such as adding new products, combating spam, and opening up its algorithms, were already in the works before his dramatic intervention.
“Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where important issues affecting humanity’s future are debated,” Musk said.
Musk’s statement isn’t clear on what he means by “authenticating all humans” — is he referring to the ongoing effort to rid the platform of spammy bots or a new, stricter stance on non-human automated accounts? If the latter is true, Twitter’s flavour as a social platform that has long been home to useful and occasionally delightful bot accounts will undoubtedly change.
The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the board, is expected to close this year after shareholder and regulatory approvals, as well as “the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions,” according to Twitter. It’s not finalised until those issues are resolved.
The news comes after strategically placed overnight reports that Twitter was considering the offer, contrary to earlier statements about the poison pill it would prefer over Musk acquiring it.
Before being yanked away, a Musk-shaped seat on the board appeared. Musk’s stockholders were enraged, and they sued him for what they perceived to be obvious stock price manipulation.
The news is sure to enrage a lot of people — Musk has a proclivity for polarisation, and Twitter has a proclivity for polarisation, so it’s a foregone conclusion.
As a result, it will be interesting to see what this means for Twitter as a company. It will also be interesting to watch to see what Musk’s agenda or intentions are. Buying media properties by billionaires isn’t exactly new — we’d argue it’s just the next (big) step in a trend that includes yachts and other iconic assets.
Musk, on the other hand, has been a long-time Twitter power user, so this is likely to be more than a vanity play for investors or a purely financial play for him. He is a thinker. Even if you dislike him, you must admit he is intelligent. He could be planning to grow Twitter into a more profitable company.
Or he may have already decided that Twitter is far more entertaining as an expensive toy and a means of juicing other interests (which is, for all intents and purposes, the only thing we have proof of him using Twitter for so far).
Whatever the case may be, if he has his way, he will have a mouthpiece that he can control as he pleases.