Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has announced his intention to take over Twitter, the social media platform that he is most vocally enthusiastic about, offering to buy it for $54.20 a share, just weeks after he became the social media company’s largest shareholder.
Twitter’s closing price was $45.85 on Wednesday and just over $47 in the first hour of trading on Thursday, well below Mr. Musk’s bid of $54.20.
Shares of Twitter, which went public in late 2013, rose during the pandemic, reaching a record $77.06 in February 2021, much higher than the price that Mr. Musk said shareholders would “love” in his outreach to Twitter’s board. The company’s price has mostly drifted downward since then, but it has picked up since the billionaire started building a stake.
Musk, currently worth about $260 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is one of Twitter’s most-watched firebrands, having more than 80 million followers, and is one of the biggest names on the platform.
Remember, On April 4, Mr. Musk bought a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter for $3.35 billion through his investment vehicle SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). The next day, Twitter announced Mr. Musk would join its board, but by the end of the week, he rejected the offer.
According to Musk, the takeover bid became after he figured out that his voracious desire for more change at the company cannot be met by merely joining the board. Since then, Musk has taken to Twitter to appeal to fellow users and express his desire to make changes at the company, including turning its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter, adding an edit button for tweets, and granting automatic verification marks to premium users. One of his tweets suggested Twitter might be dying, given that several celebrities with high numbers of followers rarely tweet.
Mr. Musk said in his letter, that this is the “best and final offer,” representing a 54 percent premium over the day before he began investing in the company in late January, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It would value the company at about $43 billion.
“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,” Mr. Musk said in the letter to Mr. Taylor sent on April 13.
“However, 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.”
In the filing, Mr. Musk said “I don’t have confidence in management” and that I couldn’t make the changes he wanted in the public market.
If the offer is not accepted, Mr. Musk said,
I would “need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
What is Elon Musk’s intent, and what are the reasons behind the hostile takeover?
In the days leading up to Thursday’s announcement, Mr. Musk voiced concerns about the relevance of Twitter, its adherence to free speech principles, and its financial model, which is based on earning money from advertisements.
Enhancement of Free speech as a fundamental human right
in his letter to SEC, Mr. Musk said
“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,”
“Since making my investment, I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
Revenue model (Finance)
Currently, Twitter runs on a freemium user financial model and only makes money from advertisements; however, Elon Musks – according to one of his tweets saw the potential of Twitter milking money from a user subscription model making it its main source of revenue. Twitter is leaving so much money on the table.
Attached to Musk’s letter to the United States Security and Exchange Commission is Mr. Musk’s Text script (chat) with someone who seems like twitter’s CEO Elon musk wrote
“As I indicated this weekend, I believe that the company should be private to go through the changes that need to be made.
After the past several days of thinking this over, I have decided I want to acquire the company and take it private. I’m going to send you an offer letter tonight; it will be public in the morning.”
He further said in a Voice script
- “Best and final,
a. I am not playing the back and forth game,
b. I have moved straight to the end,
c. It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it
d. If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in the management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder
I. This is not a threat; it is simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made
ii. And those changes won’t happen without taking the company private
- My advisors and team are available after you get the letter to answer my questions
- There will be more detail in our public filings. After you receive the letter and review the public filings, your team can call my family office with any questions.”
According to Elon Musks’ letter to SEC, his Text and voice script to Parag Agrawal Twitter’s CEO, and his previous tweets if Mr. Musk’s deal goes through we now know for sure that
- Make Twitter a private company
- Decentralize twitter
- Enhance free speech.
- Make it more profitable.
- Subscription will be added to twitter’s blue tick verification algorithm.
- Account suspension for dormant accounts within 60 days of inactive.
- Total Suspension of spam account.
However, what we don’t know is
- Will Mr. Musk’s deal go through?
If it does go through…
- What will happen to Parag Agrawal twitter’s current CEO?
- Will there be a freemium account?
What if it doesn’t…
- Will history repeat itself? Reminiscing Microsoft-yahoo meager failure in 2008, when Microsoft Corp offered to acquire Yahoo Inc for $44.6 billion.
Want to know what happened to yahoo after the meager failure?
Read about it here: 6 major Reasons Why Yahoo failed woefully.
- Will Elon Musks launch his own social media platform to compete with Twitter as speculated before acquiring a stake in Twitter?
- If he does create his own social platform, can it relegate twitter to the sideline?
If you have any answers to any of these questions please feel free to comment below.