Elon Musk appears closer to his goal of buying Twitter, as several US media outlets claimed Monday that the group was about to accept the billionaire’s offer, prompting action on Wall Street.
At around 5:40 p.m. (Switzerland), the action of the social network, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, cost 3.75% to $50.77.
According to several sources, most notably quoted by the New York Timesthe Wall Street Journal and CNBC could announce the group’s acquisition Monday by Tesla’s boss, who in mid-April proposed to acquire the entire group at a price of $54.20 a share and pull the platform from the New York Stock Exchange.
A valuation of 43 billion, against 38 at the moment
If this offer were accepted unchanged, Twitter would be valued at $43 billion, up from about $38.5 billion today. When asked, Twitter did not immediately respond.
Elon Musk said last week that he had secured $46.5 billion to complete the acquisition through two Morgan Stanley bank loans, as well as his personal fortune.
He also raised the possibility of making a hostile takeover bid (OPA) directly through shareholders and bypassing the board of directors (CA).
“Once financing was completed with the threat of a hostile takeover, the board could no longer resort to a white knight or a second bidder,” Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives noted on CNBC. “It put their backs against the wall and forced them to come to the negotiating table.”
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The board met on Sunday
According to US media, Twitter’s board met on Sunday morning to discuss the billionaire’s proposal.
Two days earlier, the South African-born entrepreneur spoke to various shareholders via several video calls to defend his takeover bid.
The group’s 11-member leadership body was initially hostile to the group by passing a so-called “poison pill” clause to complicate the takeover. The clause states that if a shareholder reaches more than 15% of Twitter’s capital, the board of directors reserves the right to sell the shares to all other holders of securities. Elon Musk currently owns just over 9% of the social network’s common stock.
Shortly after taking on the company’s capital, the erratic boss had been invited to join the CA, but had declined the offer.
Read again: To counter Elon Musk, a “poison pill”
Elon Musk wants to change the platform, but in what direction?
With more than 83 million subscribers, the richest man in the world (his fortune is estimated at $269 billion by Forbes) uses his Twitter account almost daily to share news about his businesses, make jokes or launch provocations.
He pledged to transform the social network to make it “the platform for free speech around the world” without going into detail about the changes he planned to make, except for certain features such as the addition of a “edit” button to correct a tweet after posting.
Some observers believe Elon Musk could reauthorize deleted accounts, including those of Donald Trump and some of his supporters. The former US president was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2021 for calling for the results of the presidential election and for calling for violence.
An expert: the risk of an “unleashing of conspiracy theories”
“Entrusting the reins of Twitter to Mr. Musk is sure to unleash conspiracy theories that the platform has tried to suppress,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the progressive NGO Media Matters for America. “Any attempt to use the platform to share legitimate information will be overshadowed by a toxic swamp of misinformation.”
Another area Elon Musk might also want to invest in is to make Twitter more profitable and increase user growth. He has already suggested changes to the paid membership plan for the Twitter Blue microblogging site.
The San Francisco group is due to publish its quarterly results on Thursday before the opening of Wall Street.