Twitter shareholders formally accept Musk’s US$44 billion offer he’s desperately trying to get out of


Twitter shareholders formally voted to accept Elon Musk’s US$44 billion offer to take the company private, several outlets reported Tuesday afternoon, a largely expected move that adds to the bizarre, dramatic public showdown between the company and Musk as the world’s wealthiest man exhibits buyer’s remorse.
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gives two thumbs up for approval
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk | Image source: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Twitter announced April 25 it agreed to terms with Musk, 21 days after Musk disclosed he became the company’s largest shareholder, potentially setting the stage for a hostile takeover. It was an odd marriage, considering Musk was a harsh critic of the platform’s policies, and the spark between the two quickly flamed out, as Musk filed paperwork July 8 looking to back out of the deal, blaming the presence of spam and fake accounts on the site.

Twitter subsequently sued Musk in Delaware’s Court of Chancery to force the deal to go through. Musk’s argument was bolstered last month when Twitter’s former head of cybersecurity Peiter Zatko’s whistleblower complaint went public, alleging the company misled investors and regulators on numerous issues, including user privacy and the presence of bots on the site. A Delaware judge ruled last week that Musk could include information from the whistleblower complaint in his countersuit, though the court denied his request to delay the trial.

30%. That’s the premium Musk’s US$54.20 per share purchase price represents on Twitter stock’s US$41.72 ticker Tuesday. Twitter shares are trading roughly the same price as before Musk disclosed he was buying up the stock, but surged over US$50 in April and May before Musk went public with his hesitation.

Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen displaying a Twitter logo
Image source: Getty Images

Musk and Twitter’s Delaware trial will start October 17 and last five days.

Zatko testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, elaborating on his whistleblower complaints and their relation to national security. At one point, he told lawmakers a Twitter executive dismissed his concerns about foreign agents being employed by the platform. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told Forbes he was “deeply disturbed” by the testimony.

We estimate Musk is worth US$266 billion, about US$100 billion more than anyone else. Much of his fortune is thanks to his stake in Tesla, which he leads as CEO. Musk disclosed in August he sold about US$7 billion worth of Tesla stock, explaining he needed the cash if unable to back out of the Twitter deal.

Further Reading

Twitter Cared More About Growth Than Spies Infiltrating Company, Whistleblower Tells Congress (Forbes)

Twitter Shareholders Poised To Approve Deal With Elon Musk—Even As He Keeps Trying To Terminate It (Forbes)

Musk Wins Request To Include Whistleblower Claims In Twitter Suit—But Judge Denies Delay (Forbes)

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