The world’s richest man is set to complete his hostile takeover of Twitter for $43 billion, according to news reports.
Reuters released an exclusive saying that Twitter is “nearing a deal to sell” itself to Tesla CEO Elon Musk for “$54.20 per share in cash.” That was the original price Musk offered when he launched his bid to own the company. Twitter may announce the deal “later on Monday once its board has met to recommend the transaction to Twitter shareholders, the sources said.”
The latest development follows reports that Twitter was reconsidering Musk’s offer after he secured $46.5 billion in financing to back his takeover. Musk was reportedly “exploring a tender offer to purchase some or all shares of the company directly from its shareholders” after Twitter’s board failed to respond to his initial offer.
Earlier, Twitter adopted a so-called “poison pill” plan to thwart Musk’s attempts at a hostile takeover. Twitter’s plan was structured so that if “any person or group acquires beneficial ownership of at least 15% of Twitter’s outstanding common stock without the board’s approval, other shareholders will be allowed to purchase additional shares at a discount.” The “poison pill,” was intended to tank the value of the platform, potentially hurting its shareholders and opening it up to significant legal liability. Twitter’s plan, according to Reuters’ reporting, appears to have failed.
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Reuters emphasized how Musk gained the upper hand over the censorship-obsessed Big Tech platform:
Twitter has not been able to secure so far a ‘go-shop’ provision under its agreement with Musk that would allow it to solicit other bids from potential acquirers once the deal is signed, the sources said. Still, Twitter would be allowed to accept an offer from another party by paying Musk a break-up fee, the sources added.
Musk slammed the platform on March 26 for its censorship-heavy environment: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.” Musk said Twitter’s board salary would be “$0” if his bid was successful.
Musk said Twitter’s board would not be paid if he purchased the platform. “Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s ~$3M/year saved right there,” he tweeted. He also said Twitter would be the opposite of Facebook if he bought it.
“As for media sort of ownership, I mean, you’ve got Mark Zuckerberg owning Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp, and with a share ownership structure that will have Mark Zuckerberg the 14th still controlling those entities,” he said. “Like, literally,” Musk added. “We won’t have that at Twitter.”
NewsBusters wrote last week that Musk said that his offer was “not a way to make money” but was instead about restoring free speech. “I’m not saying that I have all the answers here, but I do think that we want to be just very reluctant to delete things,” he noted. “And just be very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts, I think, are better than permanent bans.”