The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, who on Wednesday launched a bid to buy Twitter, has responded to his own tweet, which in itself is more than four years old, where he shared his passion for the social media platform.
‘I love Twitter,’ Musk declared in a December 2017 tweet.
‘How much is that?’, He replied minutes later.
The tweet, which is almost certainly forgotten by everyone except Musk, received a follow-up response from the billionaire on Friday night with a smiley emoji on his head.
Elon Musk had tweeted in December 2017 about his love for Twitter
Musk referred back to tweets in the early hours of Saturday morning with a smile emoji on his head
Although Musk may at the time teased the prospect of buying a social media platform, Musk has now put his money where his mouth is, with a $ 43 billion bid for the company.
The offer itself, which Musk said was final, values Twitter at $ 54.20 per share – above the closing price ahead of his bid, but below a hit of $ 77.06 in February last year.
On Thursday, CEO Parag Agrawal told staff they were still considering Musk’s offer.
But on Friday, Twitter’s board announced the dramatic ‘poison pill plan’ to prevent Musk from further increasing its stake in the company.
The board showed that it would not go quietly, saying that any purchase of over 15 percent of the company’s shares without its OK would trigger a plan to flood the market with shares and thus make a buyout much more difficult.
There were some interesting responses to the Musks tweet with some from 2017, and others were posted just hours ago
Even with a moderate and inflexible proposal that could help the board argue for rejection, it is a packed moment that could end in lawsuits from pretty much everyone involved.
To succeed in rejecting Musk’s offer, the Twitter board must be on solid ground and argue that the company is worth more, said Wharton School finance professor Kevin Kaiser.
Shareholders who feel that the board rejects a profitable trade will be free to sue Twitter.
Musk has the option of bypassing the board of directors and trying to buy shares directly from shareholders in the market, but that can lead to tedious negotiations with some shareholders holding out for more money.
“Twitter’s board of directors has limited opportunity under Delaware law to stop a takeover bid directly to shareholders, which Elon Musk has not done, but which he could have done if he chose to,” said Wharton School finance professor Kevin Kaiser.
“If he does this, and if the shareholders choose to offer their shares, then he can succeed without requiring the support or approval of the board of directors.”
Musk, in response, is now said to be recruiting others to join his bid, the New York Post reported Friday night.
Musk said at a TED conference, pictured above, that he had ‘sufficient funds’ to implement the deal, but financial analysts have described the situation as more complicated
Twitter’s share price remains below Musk’s bid level of $ 54.20, suggesting the market is uncertain whether his bid will be accepted by the board
While the serial entrepreneur’s net worth is estimated at $ 265 billion by Forbes, his fortune is not in a bank account waiting to be spent.
Musk said at a TED conference that he had ‘sufficient funds’ to implement the deal, but financial analysts describe the situation as more complicated.
Much of Musk’s wealth comes from shares in electric car maker Tesla, which he runs.
Musk would have to convert part of its Tesla holdings into cash, either by selling shares or taking out loans with shares as collateral.
“The details of how Musk would fund the deal will determine the consequences for Twitter,” Moody’s said in a note to investors.
Moody’s estimated that it would cost Musk $ 39 billion to buy all the outstanding Twitter shares, and that there would be a ‘high chance’ that he would have to repay or refinance the San Francisco-based company’s billions of dollars of existing debt.
It was before the poison pill movement from Twitter that increases the cost of Musk.
Musk tweeted a poll suggesting he might be considering taking his bid directly to shareholders.
He asked if it should be up to the shareholders and not the board of directors to take the company privately at its offered price.
By the time the vote was nearing completion on Friday, more than 2.7 million votes had been cast, with nearly 84 percent of them in favor of the idea.
Selling a massive amount of shares in Tesla to buy Twitter would come with a large tax bill based on capital gains and could cause the shares of the electric car company to sink as the market is flooded with shares for sale.
Musk could keep his shares and get a loan and absorb the interest payments. Or he could team up with a partner with deep pockets, but it could come down to the fact that the strong-willed leader has someone to answer regarding his decisions on Twitter.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that if the Twitter board rejects his offer, they will do their shareholders a “titanic” disservice
Musk said that if the Twitter board rejects his offer, they will do their shareholders a “titanic” disservice.
He says he wants to own the platform ‘not to make money’, but rather to strengthen freedom of speech.
“This is not about economics,” Musk said as he spoke at a TED conference in Vancouver on Thursday.
‘My strong intuitive sense is to have a public platform that is maximally trusted and that is broadly inclusive is important for the future of civilization.
“Twitter has become a kind of de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law.”
He added that he was not sure he would be able to achieve it – but said he had a Plan B if the board rejected his offer. He refused to elaborate on what that might entail.
Elon Musk responded with a laughing emoji to a version of the classic meme ‘Distracted Boyfriend’ that mocked Twitter’s board
Musk himself seems amused by the drama.
On Friday, he scolded Twitter’s board for their attempt to block him from the $ 43 billion takeover of the enemy.
A Twitter user tweeted a version of the classic ‘Distracted Girlfriend’ meme and taunted Twitter’s board.
The picture depicted ‘Twitter’s board of directors’ and looked longingly at the possibility of ‘keeping the easy concert that gives me shares’, while ‘Twitter investors’ look on with disgust because they are ‘satisfied with $ 54.20 per share’ – the amount for Musk’s unsolicited bid.
Musk responded to the meme with a laughing emoji.
Musk also responded to another account’s poll, which showed a majority of respondents for his plan to take Twitter privately, writing: ‘Thank you for the support!’
Despite Twitter’s latest move, Musk was still able to defy the board and take over the company in a proxy battle by voting out the current directors – though this strategy may take years to play out.
Musk has previously responded to reports that the board of directors was considering a ‘poison pill’ plan by tweeting: ‘If the current Twitter board takes action against the interests of shareholders, they would be violating their duty of trust.’
“The responsibility they would thereby assume would be titanic in scope,” he added, apparently referring to potential shareholder lawsuits.
Twitter’s board is chaired by chairman Bret Taylor, who is also co-CEO of business software giant Salesforce
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (left) and co-founder Jack Dorsey (right) also have board seats