Elon Musk will buy Twitter: here’s everything you need to know

On Thursday, April 14, Elon Musk announced an offer to buy Twitter for $ 54.20 per share. shares.

This is a huge story with a lot of quick parts to it. It’s also a story that is likely to stretch over the next few months, perhaps even longer. So we thought we’d put together a guide for you, our readers, that could be updated as things continue to evolve. Because, like Elonwe ❤️ you.

Then fasten – it will be an uneven ride.

The latest news:

The day after Musk announced his proposal to buy Twitter, the company’s board responded with a poison pill. This is basically the board’s way of saying, “Thank you, but no thank you.”

The poison pill consists of a new “shareholder rights plan” to give certain shareholders the right to buy more shares if Musk or another buyer tries to take control. And it signals that Twitter’s board of directors intends to fight Musk’s bid to take over sole ownership of the company.


Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

The story so far:

A thousand years ago, on April 4, 2022, Elon Musk announced that he had purchased 9.1 percent of Twitter. The news that the world’s richest man was now (for a short time) the largest shareholder in his favorite social media platform sent the stock price up and many a keyboard a-key.

Musk immediately set about soliciting suggestions for ways to improve Twitter by – what else – tweeting a poll. The company responded by offering him a board seat, a move that would have limited him to owning only 15 percent of the company. First he said yes. Then he changed his mind and said no. Meanwhile, our resident Twitter and Musk experts, Casey Newton and Liz Lopatto, respectively, dug deeper into why Musk flirted with Twitter and what the likely results would be.

After being denied a seat on Twitter’s board of directors, Musk updated his application to the Securities and Exchange Commission to indicate that he would not be a passive player in the company’s affairs. Gone was the language that he would limit his holdings to only 14.0 percent of the company. In hindsight, this was the first clue that he might be trying something more effective than just buying some shares that serve as a board member.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

Platform players Casey Newton is not the only one who did not believe that Musk would launch a hostile takeover of Twitter. After the news came that Musk had acquired 9.1 percent of the company’s shares, many briefly entertained the idea that Musk might try to buy the entire company, only to eventually conclude that he had already acquired everything. what he wanted, out of Twitter.

Casey was right in claiming that Twitter’s poison pill regulations may not be enough to stop Musk. But he also assumed that Musk would just continue to troll the company through his tweets – which is certainly still a likely outcome.

Anyone who has been in the market to buy a house knows about the “best and final” deals. In his opening salvo, Musk claims that his bid to buy Twitter is exactly that. Whether it strengthens his position or ends up painting him into a corner is too early to say. But it’s clear he’s offering Twitter’s shareholders a fairly fair premium: $ 43 billion for a company with a market value of $ 37 billion.

Musk says Twitter needs to go private in order to review the changes that need to be made. These include an editing feature, an open source algorithm, less moderation and a higher bar to remove offensive tweets.

Musk is a very rich guy. So he would obviously say he is not interested in buying Twitter to make money. He regards Twitter as “the de facto city square” and wants to open up the source code for the social media company’s algorithm. He tries to portray the entire takeover bid as a kind of crusade to protect freedom of speech.

But even a free speech maximist like Musk must convince shareholders that his takeover bid is in their financial self-interest. Otherwise, what are we really doing here?

Musk is a prolific Twitter user. He’s also a troll, and Liz Lopatto explains what exactly he needs to do to get people to take him more seriously. Musk tends to shoot from the hip, but several corporate governance experts told us they doubt he actually thought about it all.

He has not provided the funding to buy Twitter and take it privately. He works with Morgan Stanley, but it’s someone’s guess if he’s actually listening to them. Musk himself said he might not win in the end. If he succeeds in pressuring Twitter to make the changes he wants, he might just be able to withdraw his bid. All things are possible.

Behind the scenes, Twitter’s board members are planning their response to the world’s richest man takeover plan. There is the poison pill, as well as previous provisions in the company’s articles of association that can make it extremely difficult for Musk to take control.

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Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP via Getty Images

Twitter’s first meeting in all hands, after Musk’s bid was announced, was bizarre. After a serenade with employees of the Backstreet Boys and Aretha Franklin, the company said it would continue to evaluate the offer.

Employees told Alex Heath they were frustrated at the lack of a more detailed answer. They are concerned about the future of the social media platform, as well as the possibility of layoffs.

A few hours after announcing his bid to buy Twitter, Musk took to the stage in Vancouver for a well-timed interview with TED Talk founder Chris Anderson. During the conversation, Musk spoke of his “obsession with the truth” and reiterated comments he made in his SEC file about wanting to protect freedom of speech and democracy.

But as Adi Robertson points out, his understanding of free speech seems foggy at best. After examining Musk’s comments as well as previous efforts by Twitter’s management to fight speech laws around the world, she concludes that Musk could get a rude awakening if he succeeds in buying the social media platform.

You can not understate what slide this has been so far. He buys shares! He joins the board! No, wait, he’s not joining the board! He could buy more shares! No, wait, he will buy the whole megilla! This thing has more twists than a Shyamalan movie. And we are not even halfway there.

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