Elon Musk Close To Becoming New Owner Of Twitter
NEW YORK, ForeTVHub – Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is poised to agree on a sale to Elon Musk for around $43 billion in cash, the price the chief executive of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has called his “best and final” offer for the social media company, people familiar with the matter said.
Twitter may announce the $54.20-per-share deal later today once its board has met to recommend the transaction to twitter shareholders, the sources said. It is always possible that the deal collapses at the last minute, the sources added.
Musk, the world’s richest person according to a tally by Forbes, is negotiating to buy Twitter in a personal capacity and Tesla is not involved in the deal.
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 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.
The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Twitter shares were up 4.5% in pre-market trading in New York on Monday at $51.15.
Musk has said Twitter needs to be taken private to grow and become a genuine platform for free speech.
The deal would come just four days after Musk unveiled a financing package to back the acquisition. This led Twitter’s board to take the deal more seriously and many shareholders to ask the company not to let the opportunity for a deal to slip away, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The sale would represent an admission by Twitter that its new chief executive Parag Agrawal, who took the helm in November, is not making enough traction in making the company more profitable, despite being on track to meet ambitious financial goals the company set for 2023. Twitter’s shares were trading higher than Musk’s offer price as recently as November.
Musk’s negotiating tactics – making one offer and sticking with it – resembles how another billionaire, Warren Buffett, negotiates acquisitions. Musk did not provide any financing details when he first disclosed his offer for Twitter, making the market skeptical about its prospects.
Elon Musk’s Plan for Twitter
Elon Musk can at times be inscrutable, and his politics are elusive, which has made it somewhat difficult to determine exactly what the billionaire would do if he successfully acquired Twitter. But over the past weeks and months, Elon Musk has given more hints about what he would change about Twitter — in interviews, regulatory filings and, of course, on his personal Twitter account.
Free speech and content moderators. Mr. Musk has frequently expressed concern that Twitter’s content moderators go too far and intervene too much on the platform, which he sees as the internet’s “de facto town square.”
In the regulatory filing in which he announced his bid to buy Twitter, he wrote: “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”
He added that he didn’t trust the company’s current leadership to make the changes he saw as necessary and prioritize his ideas about free speech on the platform. “Since making my investment, I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” he wrote. “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
The algorithm. At a TED conference this month, he elaborated on his plans to make the company’s algorithm an open-source model, which would allow users to see the code showing how certain posts came up in their timelines.
He said the open-source method would be better than “having tweets sort of being mysteriously promoted and demoted with no insight into what’s going on.”
Mr. Musk has also pointed to the politicization of the platform before, and recently tweeted that any social media platform’s policies “are good if the most extreme 10 percent on left and right are equally unhappy.”