The eleven members of the Twitter board met on Sunday morning to seriously consider Elon Musk’s offer to buy the social media platform. The apparent willingness of the board shows a change of attitude from the initial skepticism with which the Musk takeover was initially received.
The move comes after Tesla reported record-high profits for the first quarter of the year, defying the expectations of financial experts and burying the concerns that Shanghai’s draconian lockdown would hit the electric car company numbers.
According to a report by the New York Times, the board was planning to meet with Musk later that same Sunday to have further discussions around a potential deal, including a timeline to finish the deal and potential fees to be paid. Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share is higher than the current price of Twitter’s stock, which it was trading at $45 when Musk made his initial offer in mid-April.
Initially, there were many doubts over its financial feasibility, as it was not very clear that Musk had the liquidity to buy the company. The board also showed hostility towards Musk’s offer, as they adopted a “poison pill” tactic that would make it more expensive for the billionaire to buy the company.
The Twitter diplomacy of the Musk takeover
The animosity between the Twitter board and Musk was also in full display on the platform itself as the latter attacked the board and accused them of not representing the best interests of the shareholders. The founder of Tesla also posted that if he bought the company, he would immediately eliminate the salaries of all the members of the board.
Musk had also previously criticized Saudi Prince Talal, who owns a significant amount of shares on Twitter, for his decision to reject Musk’s offer, asking the member of the Saudi royal family what were the Kingdom’s views on freedom of speech.
Elon also started a bizarre Twitter tirade against Bill Gates this weekend, confirming a series of text messages where he confronted Gates for betting against the success of Tesla, and saying that he could not discuss any potential philanthropic possibilities with him. Musk then tweeted a strange meme where he mocked Bill Gates’ physical appearance by posting a photo of the founder of Microsoft and the emoji of a pregnant person.
Musk’s prolific use of Twitter has been a key characteristic of the billionaire’s public persona. Last year, he played a key part in the rise of the joke coin “dogecoin,” which soared more than 50% of its value after Musk started posting tweets in favor of the digital currency.
Musk says his Twitter takeover is about free speech, not money
The South African billionaire said during a Ted Talk his decision to buy Twitter is not motivated by greed or financial benefits, but by a desire to transform Twitter into an “inclusive arena for free speech,” and that he thinks Twitter functions as a “de facto town square” which should allow its users to speak freely. Elon said that the creation of a public platform that is “maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”
Critics of Musk have cast doubt on his alleged reasons for buying the company. Kevin Dugan, from the New York magazine, stated that the bid to buy Twitter is his “Rupert Murdoch moment” saying that buying the social media platform will give him the power to “controlling the spigot of information, affecting not only the culture but potentially laws and mores around the world.”
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.