Musk Offers To Buy Twitter At Original Price, Sending Stock Soaring


Topline

Billionaire Elon Musk wrote to Twitter offering to follow through with a deal to buy the company at the originally agreed-upon price, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday, potentially ending a seven-month legal saga two weeks before the world’s wealthiest man and the social media company were set to meet in court.

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Key Facts

Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, or $44 billion, matching the terms he agreed to in April before he later attempted to back off the deal, according to Bloomberg, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal.

Musk and Twitter are currently slated to face off in a five-day trial in Delaware beginning October 17 as the company looks to push through the purchase.

Twitter shares rose 12.7% to $47.93 following the report, before trading was halted of the stock due to pending news.

Twitter and Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.

Key Background

Twitter accepted Musk’s unsolicited takeover bid on April 25, three weeks after the billionaire disclosed he purchased a 9.2% stake in the company. Musk, a vocal opponent of the platform’s content moderation policy, quickly began to express cold feet and said he had concerns about the number of fake and spam accounts on the site, or bots. He formally requested out of the deal July 8, arguing Twitter has lowballed the number of bot accounts in its public filings. Twitter sued Musk four days later and argued his reasons for backing out of the deal were invalid. The company pushed a state court in Delaware to force Musk to buy Twitter along the originally agreed-upon terms, setting the stage for a high-stakes trial later this month. As the trial date drew nearer, more revelations about both Twitter and Musk emerged. Musk’s lawyers suggested last month his case was bolstered by a whistleblower complaint from Twitter’s former head of security, who alleged the company knowingly misled regulators and investors about the number of bots on the site. And last week, hundreds of Musk’s texts with celebrities like Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, controversial podcaster Joe Rogan and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fl.) were disclosed as part of the suit.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Musk to be worth $236 billion, the largest fortune in the world by more than $80 billion, largely due to his stakes in Tesla and SpaceX.

Tangent

Tesla shares fell about 5% in the hour after the report, paring gains earlier in the day. Shares of the electric vehicle maker dropped about 20% in April amid a more modest broad market decline.

Crucial Quote

“This is a clear sign that Musk recognized heading into Delaware Court that the chances of winning vs. Twitter board was highly unlikely and this $44 billion deal was going to be completed one way or another,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.

Further Reading

Musk Proposes to Buy Twitter for Original Offer Price of $54.20 a Share (Bloomberg)

Twitter Shareholders Formally Accept Musk’s $44 Billion Offer He’s Desperately Trying To Get Out Of (Forbes)



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