On Monday, it became clear that Elon Musk will buy Twitter for just over NOK 400 billion. After intense negotiations over the weekend and Monday, Twitter’s board of directors gave the green light to sell the entire company to Tesla founder Elon Musk. He pays $44 billion and writes off the company.
And so, Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition saga has finally come to an end. At least this time.
At approximately 20.45 Norwegian time on Monday, the New York Stock Exchange suspended all trading
Twitter post, and just a few minutes later came confirmation that Musk is buying the company.
An hour later, Musk sent a message of victory on Twitter:
The sale only gained momentum when Musk recently announced that he had secured more than NOK 400 billion in funding to buy the microblogging service.
Dorsey could end up with 11 billion
Musk will pay $54.20 per share. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey resigned as Twitter’s president last year and has long refused to raise salaries from the company, only paying an annual salary of $1.40 a year.
Now there may be a bigger payout on the stairs. Dorsey owns 2.4 percent of the company, which equates to just over 18 million shares.
Thus, Musk could buy Dorsey for $978 million, or about 11 billion kroner, if the deal goes through.
Dorsey wrote on Twitter on Monday that “Elon is the only solution I can trust. I trust his mission to expand the Light of Consciousness.”
When trading on Twitter’s stock was halted on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday night, the price rose 5.5 percent to $51.63 per share. Musk is paying $54.20 per share in cash. The price is 38 percent higher than the closing price on April 1, the day before Musk announced his purchase of a large stake in the company, and fired his interest in buying the company.
When trading resumed on the exchange, Twitter’s stock rose to just under $52, still well below its purchase price of 54.20. This may be a sign that some in the market still don’t think there will be any of Musk’s acquisitions.
From the biggest owner to the only owner
Musk bought Twitter earlier this spring, becoming the largest shareholder with 9.2 percent of the stock in the company. Twitter initially tried to get Musk on the board of directors in exchange for his commitment to owning no more than 15 percent of the stock. Musk agreed to this first, but after a series of critical tweets, he turned around.
Now he buys the entire company and takes it off the stock exchange.
Musk promotes himself as a relentless defender of free speech and an opponent of the so-called wake-up movement. Late on Monday afternoon, he sent a message on Twitter saying he hoped to be his worst critic on Twitter, because that’s what freedom of speech is all about.
“Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital square where issues important to the future of humanity will be discussed,” Musk said in a Twitter press release Monday evening.
Musk also says he will launch new features on Twitter as well as increase security, get rid of bots and trolls that pollute the exchange, and make sure there is a real person behind each account.
There is now tension over whether Musk as the new owner will lift Donald Trump’s disqualification and allow the former president to return to Twitter. Trump was banned for life following the storming of Congress in late January last year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump denied to Fox News on Monday that he had any plans to return to Twitter, and that his startup Truth Social would be his preferred social media platform.
Not much is known about Musk’s plans on Twitter
Critics question that the world’s richest man is necessarily the right person to manage free speech on a platform as important as Twitter. This is particularly so in light of Musk’s aggressive and sometimes harassing use of free speech on Twitter. Recently this weekend, for example, Musk completely came out of the blue with a somewhat childish attack on Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Musk has also repeatedly gotten into trouble with the US Financial Supervisory Authority over her Twitter activity.
Aside from the fact that Musk bought Twitter, not much is known about his plans for the microblogging service.
One of the biggest questions will be who will appoint him as the new head of Twitter. Parag Aragwal He took over the position after Dorsey five months ago. According to CNBC writes, current chairman of the board of directors, Brett Taylor, tried to prevent Musk from taking the position.
CNBC writes that Dorsey and Musk have been on a friendly tone lately, and considers that the tech billionaires will continue to work together.
That other question CNBC asks is what control Musk will exercise on Twitter.
Do you want the same approach that Jeff Bezos took with the Washington Post and leaving an independent management base? Or will he become a directly involved owner?
In the wake of the acquisition news, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also shared a tweet in which he noted that China can now gain influence on Twitter.
The background is Musk’s trade relations with China. Tesla owner Musk set up a factory in Shanghai in 2018, and the electric car company relies heavily on Chinese companies that supply battery materials.
After raising this issue, Bezos nonetheless concluded that the result would be a more complex Chinese situation for Tesla than increased censorship of Twitter.
– But we’ll see. Bezos writes that Musk is very good at dealing with this kind of complexity.
It also remains to be seen what Twitter will eventually look like with Musk as sole owner.
Does he make decisions based on what his followers want? CNBC writes. It also remains to be seen what Musk puts into the concept of free speech, and whether opinion leaders like Donald Trump get away with it in an unmodified form.(Conditions)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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