Will he or won’t he?
The latest news in the Elon Musk Twitter acquisition saga suggests he will…
Just this Tuesday, Musk offered to complete the deal to acquire Twitter for the originally agreed upon price of $54.20 a share or approximately $44 billion.
Initially, this announcement led to a 22% gain in Twitter stock. But shortly thereafter, the social media company gave some of those gains back, closing down 1.31% on Wednesday.
Regardless of the dip in the market as a whole, it’s clear Musk’s intentions have a direct impact on Twitter’s stock… and not for the first time this year. So, as per our custom, we decided to visualize Musk’s “on-again, off-again” relationship with Twitter in an infographic.
Click to skip ahead:
- Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition infographic
- A closer look at Elon Musk’s relationship with Twitter
- Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter
Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition infographic
Back in April, Musk announced he’d acquired 9.2% of Twitter’s stock leading to a tremendous surge in shares. Since then, it’s been a rocky road with Musk accepting then declining to join Twitter’s board… then making an offer to buy Twitter and attempting to retract that offer…
Suffice to say, Elon Musk’s relationship with Twitter is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Thankfully, this timeline infographic should clear things up:
A closer look at Elon Musk’s relationship with Twitter
Musk is an avid tweeter. Since first joining the platform in 2009, the business magnate has shared 19.4K tweets and amassed over 100 million followers.
In 2017, Musk famously tweeted “I love Twitter.” One user suggested he buy it in a reply. Musk’s response? “How much is it?”
In hindsight, it seems Musk has been toying with the idea of acquiring the platform for years. But as we’ve seen, it’s only in 2022 that Musk started making serious moves… and serious waves.
Starting in January, Musk began buying up Twitter shares in near daily installments. By March, he’d amassed a five percent stake in the company. At this threshold, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notified Musk he’d have to disclose his Twitter shares to the public.
Right around this time, Musk also shared concerns about Twitter’s adherence to the principle of free speech, going so far as to poll his followers on the matter.
Behind the scenes, Musk reached out to Twitter board members to let them know about his growing stake in the company and his thoughts on either joining the board or launching a social media competitor.
All this came to a head after a SEC filing in April forcing Musk to announce he’d acquired a large portion of Twitter’s stock. As I touched on earlier, the company’s stock experienced a surge of as much as 27% that same day — the largest since their initial public offering (IPO) in 2013.
For context, here’s a timeline template that shows the highs and lows of Twitter’s share price history over the years:
Musk, now the company’s largest shareholder, proceeded to accept and then reject an offer to join the board. Of course, we all know what happens next: Musk makes his initial offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share or approximately $44 billion.
The very next day, Twitter implemented a “poison pill” strategy, designed to prevent a hostile takeover by Musk. This defensive measure gave other shareholders the right to buy more stock should a hostile takeover indeed occur.
Meanwhile, Musk was busy lining up financing to make good on his offer to the tune of $46.5 billion. Twitter’s board, sensing the inevitability of it all, accepted Musk’s offer. Closing this deal meant that Musk relinquished his right to further investigate the company’s state.
Next, comes more financing. Musk sells billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares and gets commitments from a diverse group of investors, like oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, to help fund the purchase of Twitter.
But the magnate wasn’t done making waves. In May, he stated he’d reverse Twitter’s ban of former President Donald Trump, calling it a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” A controversial statement, to say the least.
Then, the backpedaling begins. Mid-May, Musk tweeted the deal was “on hold” for unspecified reasons. Later, he revealed this was due to spam bot counts. The result? Twitter shares tumble, while Tesla shares rebound sharply.
Here, the battle between Musk and Twitter escalates. From Musk responding to a thread posted by Twitter’s CEO with a poop emoji to back and forth arguments over the company’s bot counts, it came as small surprise when Musk officially notified the SEC he planned to walk away from the deal.
Cue the lawsuits. Twitter files against Musk accusing him of “refusing to honor his obligations.” The suit argues that Musk ended the deal after seeing his Tesla stock drop in value. In the first pretrial hearing, Twitter scored a win against Musk after the judge agreed to an expedited five-day trial starting on October 17.
In response, Musk countersues Twitter, alleging the company is operating a “scheme to mislead investors about the company’s prospects.” Sparks fly and so do subpoenas — over 100 on both sides to be exact.
Enter the whistleblower. Peiter Zatko, former head of security at Twitter comes forward with allegations that Twitter failed to take enough action to protect users’ data. Zatko echos Musk’s concerns about Twitter’s methods for counting spam bots on the platform.
In the second pre-trial hearing, Musk scores a point. The judge partially grants his demand for Twitter to produce more data on scam accounts. Musk’s legal team also subpoenaes Zatko and files a motion to amend its countersuit to include his allegations.
September rolls around and Musk takes another hit when his request to delay the trial is denied. His legal team argues that Twitter breached its agreement by allegedly offering Zatko a $7.75 million severance package. Twitter dismisses these claims.
Next, Zatko testifies on security issues. And despite the ongoing legal trial, the majority of Twitter’s stakeholders vote in favor of the Musk acquisition.
Yet more drama ensues when court documents reveal Musk’s researchers couldn’t substantiate his claims that Twitter lied about bot counts before he decided to end the deal. Musk’s personal texts discussing the deal also come to light. These messages reveal his concerns about free speech and how to proceed in light of the Ukraine-Russia war.
And finally, in the latest development, Musk offers to go through with the original proposal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. After an initial surge in stock immediately following the announcement, the company’s shares closed down 1.31% the following day.
Twitter shared that it intends to close the transaction at the original price of $54.20. Could the saga be coming to an end at long last? Time will tell.
But if Musk’s Twitter deal does finally go through, what can we expect? In addition to Musk’s various public statements over the last year, an intriguing tweet gives us clues…
Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter
Musk has made no secret of his plans for Twitter. One of his main reasons for acquiring the company stems from his staunch belief in free speech.
But clearly, there’s more to it. In a recent tweet, Musk said the acquisition would accelerate the creation of what he calls, “X, the everything app.”
Here’s a closer look at what we can expect if Musk takes over Twitter:
A brave new Twitter with Musk at the helm
One thing’s for sure, if Musk’s acquisition of Twitter does go through, the social platform is in for some changes.
Whether Musk transforms it into a “super app” called X or simply pushes for less moderation and spam on the platform remains to be seen. But if history is anything to go by, Musk won’t settle for anything less than a brave new Twitter.
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