Elon Musk said that his $44 billion offer to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold” almost 40 days ago, and it looks like the two sides are still at a standstill. During a remote Q&A at Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, Musk said that “there are still a few unresolved matters” about the deal, including whether Twitter’s shareholders will approve it.
ELON MUSK NOT READY TO FINISH DEAL
The comment was made on the same day that Twitter’s board unanimously recommended shareholders approve Musk’s bid to buy the company. In an SEC filing, the board said that “the merger agreement is advisable and the merger and other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement are…in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders.”
Many people think Musk is trying to get out of the deal because he has been dragging his feet for weeks. This is because Musk has been worried about the general volatility of the market. He told the people at the Bloomberg event, “A recession will happen at some point.” “I think it’s more likely than not that there will be a recession in the near future. It’s not a sure thing, but it seems more likely than not to happen.” He also discussed Tesla’s plans to lay off some employees because he has a “super-bad feeling” about the economy. He said that the car company would cut about 10 per cent of its “salaried workforce,” which is only a 3–3.5 percent drop in total headcount and isn’t that big of a deal.
In the meantime, he kept saying that putting the Twitter deal on hold was okay because the board hadn’t been honest about how many spam accounts were on the platform. “You’ve probably read about the question of whether or not there are less than 5 percent fake and spam users on the system, which is what Twitter says. However, I don’t think most people’s experiences with Twitter are like that,” he said. “
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So, we’re still waiting for an answer to that question, which is a very important one.” A report from the Washington Post earlier this month said that Twitter tried to settle this dispute by offering to give Musk a “firehose” of internal data to look through. This effort to be open seems to be a direct response to Musk’s claim that the company broke its part of the merger agreement by “actively resisting and thwarting” his attempts to find out who uses the site. A Twitter spokesperson said earlier this month that the company is giving Musk the information he wants and that it plans to “close the deal and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”
Musk said at the forum that the question of whether the debt financing for the deal will “come together” is the third issue that “needs to be resolved” before the Twitter buyout can be finished. (He plans to pay for the deal with $33.5 billion in his own money and $13 billion in loans from banks like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Barclays.) He also talked about his big plans for the site and said he hopes “80 percent of North America and maybe half the world” will join Twitter in the future. “My goal for Twitter or the digital town square as a whole would be for it to be as inclusive as possible in the broadest sense of the word,” he said. “That means that it has to be something that people like. It can’t be where they feel uncomfortable or bothered, or they won’t go there.
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Musk told Twitter employees at his first meeting with them last week that he still wants to buy the company. Still, the company is trading at $38.63 right now, a long way from Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share and a sign that the market is still unsure about the deal.
Politics also came up on Tuesday when someone asked Musk, who voted for the first time for a Republican last week and said he was leaning toward Ron DeSantis in 2024 if the governor of Florida ran for president if he would vote for Donald Trump if he ran. “At this point, I don’t think I have made up my mind about that election,” Musk said.