Elon Musk's Twitter mega-takeover likely imminent
Report says social media platform's board close to accepting $54.20-a-share offer
Updated The weeks-long saga between Elon Musk and Twitter may be drawing to a close as soon as this afternoon with the sale of Twitter to the Tesla CEO thought to be imminent.
Reuters reported the news based on an anonymous source "familiar with the matter," who said the $54.20-a-share deal could be announced as early as Monday once the board meets. The source also said the sale wasn't a done deal, and could still fall apart.
Musk, the world's richest man, bought a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter in March that he went public about in April. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO, who is one of Twitter's most popular users, authored several tweets critical of the platform after his purchase.
Musk's purchase was followed by an offer to join Twitter's board, which he initially accepted before turning it down. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet that, while Twitter was excited for Musk to join the board, "I believe this is for the best."
After turning down the board seat, speculation rose that Musk was going to attempt a hostile takeover, to which the board responded with a "poison pill" option that would force a freeze in stock sales if Musk bought more than 15 percent of the company. If that were to occur, every existing shareholder would be given the opportunity to buy additional shares at a discount before Musk could purchase more.
Most recently, Musk filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that said he had the money available to purchase Twitter, with $21 billion in funding coming directly from Musk, and the rest coming from several banks, including Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. It's this filing that sent Twitter (the firm) back to the boardroom to discuss its plans.
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Musk has painted himself as a "free speech absolutist," but has taken direct action to stop the free speech of others – when it is targeted at him. He has offered to pay the owner of a Twitter account tracking his private jet flights to stop, his firm's legal action of a 2018 Tesla Gigafactory whistleblower earned criticism for trying to silence critics, and Musk's other defamation-adjacent free speech has landed him in other forms of legal trouble.
The billionaire has also spent plenty of time in the crosshairs of the SEC, whose previous investigations into Musk's tweets led to him being unable to post to Twitter without approval, something it later accused Tesla of failing to do as part of a 2018 settlement. ®
Updated to add
Twitter's board has now definitely accepted Musk's $54.20-a-share offer.