After Elon Musk said early Friday that his $44 billion USD acquisition of Twitter was “temporarily on hold” as he verifies the total percentage of daily active accounts on the social media platform that are bots, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO clarified in a follow-up tweet that he is “still committed” to buying the company.
Still committed to acquisition
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Despite Musk’s assurance that the deal was still intact, his original remarks were enough of a jolt to send Twitter’s share price plummeting 10% at market open on Friday. At the time of writing, Twitter’s stock is trading at $40.14 USD per share, over $14 less than Musk’s buyout offer of $54.20 a share.
Twitter claimed in a recent filing that spam/fake accounts only comprise 5% of the platform’s daily active users, but that figure is believed to actually be higher. The company has also caught some flack as of late after it announced it has overestimated user numbers in its most recent earnings.
Tesla has seen a 25% dip in its share price since Musk announced his buyout offer for Twitter as part of a broader market downturn. Therefore, spending billions of dollars on buying a company that has historically operated at a loss may not be the smartest financial move for the billionaire, especially since the bulk of his personal wealth is tied up in Tesla’s stock.
However, Musk has lined up several co-investors for the Twitter deal, lessening the portion of financing he previously had to arrange through margin loans that were secured by his stake in Tesla.
Walking away from the deal wouldn’t be wise for Musk anyway, considering he will have to pay a $1 billion agreement to cover breakup protections in the event the deal falls through.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said there were “many questions and no concrete answers as to the path of this deal going forward.” Ives said Musk’s public concerns over bots could be seen as an indicator of the deal falling through, the beginnings of Musk trying to renegotiate a lower price, or the Tesla CEO simply deciding to walk away from the deal with a $1 billion-shaped dent in his wealth.
Last week, a leaked investor pitch deck full of details on Musk’s ambitions for Twitter revealed big plans to quintuple Twitter’s revenue and hit almost 1 billion total users by 2028.
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