Tom Krisher and Matt O’brien, Associated Press – 26.10.2022 / 13:24 | Story: 392791
Photo: The Canadian Press
FILE – Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washington. On Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, Musk released a video showing him walking into Twitter’s headquarters ahead of a Friday, Oct. 28, deadline to close the $44 billion acquisition deal. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Elon Musk released a video Wednesday of himself walking into Twitter’s headquarters ahead of a Friday deadline to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company.
Musk also changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and his location to Twitter’s headquarters, which is in San Francisco. In the video, he carried a sink through the lobby area.
“Entering Twitter HQ – let it sink in!” he tweeted.
Access to Twitter HQ – let it sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 26 October 2022
A court has given Musk until Friday to close the deal he struck in April after he previously tried to pull out of the deal. Neither Musk nor Twitter have said whether a deal has been made yet.
Despite Musk’s flashy arrival at headquarters, it was not yet clear whether his Twitter purchase had been completed. Twitter confirmed that Musk’s video tweet was real, but did not comment further. Alex Spiro, Musk’s lead attorney, did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Washington Post reported last week that Musk told potential investors that he plans to cut three-quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 employees when he becomes the company’s owner. The paper cited documents and unnamed sources familiar with the conversation.
One of Musk’s biggest obstacles to the completion of the deal was keeping the funding promised about six months ago.
A group of banks, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, signed on earlier this year to lend $12.5 billion of the money Musk needed to buy Twitter and take it private. Firm contracts with Musk tied the banks to funding, although changes in the economy and debt markets since April are likely to have made the terms less attractive. Musk even said that his investment group would buy Twitter for more than it was worth.
What’s less clear is what will happen to the billions of dollars promised to Musk by investors who will receive an ownership stake in Twitter. Musk’s initial slate of equity partners included a range of partners from the billionaire’s tech friends who had like-minded ideas about Twitter’s future, such as Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, to funds controlled by Middle Eastern royalty.
The more equity investors get involved in the deal, the less Musk has to pay on his own. Most of his wealth is tied up in shares of Tesla, the electric car company he runs. Since April, he has sold more than $15 billion worth of Tesla stock, presumably to pay his share. More sales may come.
Musk’s flirtation with buying Twitter appeared to begin in late March. That’s when Twitter said it contacted members of its board — including co-founder Jack Dorsey — and told them it was buying stock and interested in either joining the board, taking Twitter private or starting a competitor.
Then on April 4, he revealed in a regulatory filing that he had become the company’s largest shareholder after acquiring a 9 percent stake worth about $3 billion.
Initially, Twitter offered Musk a seat on its board. But six days later, CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted that Musk would not be joining the board after all. His offer to buy quickly followed.
When Musk agreed to buy Twitter, he added a “420” marijuana reference to the $54.20 share price. He sold about $15 billion worth of Tesla stock to help finance the purchase, then raised billions more in commitments from a variety of investor groups, including Silicon Valley heavy hitters like Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
Inside Twitter, Musk’s bid was met with confusion and a drop in morale, especially after Musk publicly criticized one of Twitter’s top lawyers for being involved in content moderation decisions.
In July, Musk abruptly reversed course and announced that he was abandoning the offer to buy Twitter. His stated reason: Twitter wasn’t upfront about its problem with fake accounts, which he called “spambots.” Twitter sued Musk in Delaware Chancery Court to force the deal through. Two weeks before the five-day trial began, Musk changed his mind and said he still wanted to complete the deal.
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