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Elon Musk Twitter deal: Tesla CEO negotiates $44bn purchase as private equity firms backs out of financing

Elon Musk Twitter deal: Tesla CEO negotiates $44bn purchase as private equity firms backs out of financing

Elon Musk on Tuesday revived his offer to buy social networking site Twitter for $44bn, after previously attempting to back out of the high-profile deal.

The Tesla billionaire proposed the price, which equals the original valuation of $54.20 a share, in a letter to Twitter filed on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the letter, his layers stated that Mr Musk and his backers “intend to proceed to closing of the transaction contemplated by the April 25, 2022, merger agreement, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth therein.”

Twitter confirmed that it had received the letter from Mr Musk and stated that it intended to close the deal at the original price, without commenting on how it would respond to him.

Mr Musk broke his silence on the deal on Twitter late Tuesday, writing: “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. He added that buying Twitter “accelerates X by 3 to 5 years”.

In July, Twitter sued Mr Musk for what it said was his “wrongful” attempt to cancel his offer, a case that may force the entrepreneur into acquiring the company.

Without an agreement, proceedings in the case are set to begin within days, with Mr Musk scheduled to be deposed in Texas later this week.

Twitter’s share price jumped by 22 per cent on Tuesday following news of Mr Musk’s renewed bid for the company and closed trading at around $52.

Key Points

  • Elon Musk could still go to court over Twitter deal

  • Elon Musk has long-since hinted that X could be a social media site.

  • What is X.com?

  • Elon Musk breaks silence on Twitter purchase and offers vision of platform’s future

  • Why Twitter is suing Elon Musk

Welcome to our live coverage of the Elon Musk Twitter deal

Tuesday 4 October 2022 21:19 , Josh Marcus

Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of Elon Musk’s $44bn bid to buy Twitter.

The deal has the potential to impact US politics and culture for years to come, and we’ll have all the latest details. Stay tuned.

Elon Musk’s SEC reglatory filing to buy Twitter

Tuesday 4 October 2022 22:14 , Graeme Massie

Here is the SEC filing made by Elon Musk indicating he intends to complete a $44bn purchase of Twitter at $55.420 per share.

How Twitter responded to Elon Musk’s letter

Tuesday 4 October 2022 23:10 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk breaks silence on Twitter offer

Tuesday 4 October 2022 23:43 , Graeme Massie

The billionaire took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and talked about his vision for Twitter.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he tweeted.

ICYMI: Zelensky fires back at Elon Musk’s ‘insane’ Twitter poll on Russia Ukraine peace

Tuesday 4 October 2022 23:56 , Graeme Massie

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has fired back at Elon Musk’s “insane” Twitter poll on Russia-Ukraine peace proposals.

The Tesla titan took to Twitter and proposed a string of ideas to solve the eight-month conflict, asking his followers to vote “yes” or “no” on his proposals, which included formally allowing Russia to annex Crimea.

More details below.

Zelensky fires back at Elon Musk’s ‘insane’ Twitter poll on Russia Ukraine peace

Elon Musk breaks silence on Twitter purchase and offers vision of platform’s future

Wednesday 5 October 2022 00:20 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk has broken his silence on his proposed $44bn purchase of Twitter and offered a vision of the social media platform’s future under his ownership.

The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO took to Twitter on Tuesday to seemingly say that obtaining Twitter was the first step in creating a new “X” app, similar to China’s WeChat.

Elon Musk breaks silence on Twitter purchase and offers vision of platform’s future

Twitter users slam Elon Musk’s proposed takeover

Wednesday 5 October 2022 00:25 , Graeme Massie

It did not take long for Twitter users to take to the platform and condemn Elon Musk’s proposed $44bn takeover of the company.

“Neither Musk nor Twitter’s current management seem to care much about Twitter’s users or employees,” tweeted Judd Legum.

And NFL reporter Mike Freeman of USA Today, also slammed it.

“Take a good look around Twitter. Cause if you think the racists, trolls and trash bag humans are out in force now, wait until Musk runs it. It’s gonna be unrecognizable. Most of us are going to head to the escape pods,” he tweeted.

Expert on fascism and propaganda slams Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase

Wednesday 5 October 2022 00:52 , Graeme Massie

“Everything is just a means to an megalomanic end for this individual,” tweeted NYU professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat after Mr Musk had broken his silence about the proposed $44bn purchase of Twitter.

Observers fret Elon Musk buyout could turn Twitter into ‘supercharged engine of radicalisation

Wednesday 5 October 2022 01:50 , Graeme Massie

The news that Elon Musk has reprised his original $44bn offer to buy Twitter has sent shock waves through Silicon Valley, Wall Street and, of course, sparking plenty of discussion on the app itself.

The most important audience for the move, Twitter Inc, met the announcement with little fanfare, merely confirming it had been received and describing how the “intention” of the social network is to go through with the deal.

Josh Marcus has the story.

Observers fret Musk could turn Twitter into ‘supercharged engine of radicalisation’

ICYMI: Why Twitter is suing Elon Musk

Wednesday 5 October 2022 02:45 , Graeme Massie

Twitter sued Elon Musk in July, arguing the tech billionaire was legally bound to carry out his $44bn acquisition of the social network, after the Tesla CEO said he wanted to walk away from the deal.

Twitter argued leaving the deal is “invalid and wrongful” under the terms of an April contract, according to a letter sent to Mr Musk’s lawyers.

The company tore into Mr Musk in a legal complaint filed in Delaware Court, writing that the billionaire “apparently believes that he —unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”

Here’s more information.

ICYMI: Twitter stock rose so fast after Musk buyout offer NYSE had to pause trading

Wednesday 5 October 2022 04:10 , Graeme Massie

Twitter stock rose sharply on 4 October, after Elon Musk renewed his bid to buy the company (Google Finance)
Twitter stock rose sharply on 4 October, after Elon Musk renewed his bid to buy the company (Google Finance)

The news that Elon Musk is attempting to revive his bid to buy Twitter caused such a big jump in the social network’s stock price that the New York Stock Exchange had to temporarily pause trading twice, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Such pauses, instituted after the 2010 “Flash Crash,” kick in when stocks on major indices change price by more than 5 per cent within five minutes.

Twitter shares rose at least 13 per cent at various points on Tuesday, after Mr Musk announced he would return to his original $44bn offer to purchase the social media site.

ICYMI: Experts say Musk was set ‘to lose’ case against Twitter so he bought them

Wednesday 5 October 2022 05:03 , Graeme Massie

“Musk was going to lose the case,” Erik Gordon, a business law professor at the University of Michigan, told Insider.

“His lawyers knew that. Twitter’s lawyers knew that. His only hope was for Twitter to cave, and they didn’t.”

 (NTB/AFP via Getty Images)
(NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

ICYMI: What did Elon Musk say about his plans for Twitter in original offer?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 06:06 , Adam Smith

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement in the press release announcing the $44 billion deal in April.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.

“Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

ICYMI: Shares in Trump SPAC fall after Musk Twitter news

Wednesday 5 October 2022 07:01 , Graeme Massie

The share price of Digital World Acquisition Corp, the company set to take Trump Media and Technology Group public fell by more than 5 per cent after Elon Musk decided to go through with his Twitter purchase.

The stock peaked in March at around $97, and closed on Tuesday at $17.10.

Mr Trump’s company owns Truth Social, the social media platform he set up after being banned by Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the violent January 6 insurrection.

Mr Musk has said that if and when he takes over Twitter he wants the one-term president’s ban lifted.

ICYMI: Media watchdog brands Musk-owned Twitter a ‘supercharged engine of radicalization’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 07:59 , Graeme Massie

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, has slammed the seemingly imminent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk.

“From the outset, Elon Musk’s desire to take over Twitter was about advancing his own red-pilled ideological agenda. He was explicit about his intentions, which is why right-wing extremists celebrated the news.

“With reports that Musk is now on the cusp of acquiring Twitter, the platform will become a supercharged engine of radicalization if he follows through with even a fraction of what he has promised.

“This isn’t alarmism, this is fact. Musk made it clear that he would roll back Twitters’ community standards and safety guidelines, reinstate Donald Trump along with scores of other accounts suspended for violence and abuse, and open the floodgates of disinformation. In effect, Musk will turn Twitter into a fever swamp of dangerous conspiracy theories, partisan chicanery, and operationalized harassment.

“Twitter’s advertisers and media buyers already rejected this. Rightfully so. The sale of Twitter is the end of the company as we know it, and the beginning of a more toxic platform with incredible potential for real-world harm.

“All these warnings could actually end up being understated depending on how Musk is financing this most recent offer. That’s the single most important question in determining if this will be really bad or even worse.”

ICYMI: How Twitter responded to Elon Musk’s letter

Wednesday 5 October 2022 09:15 , Graeme Massie

“Twitter issued this statement about today’s news: We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC. The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share,” the company’s investor relations account stated on Twitter.

What will Elon Musk do with Twitter?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 10:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk has said that eventually, Twitter will become a part of ‘X’, an ‘everything app’ that could facilitate other features such as payments like WeChat in China.

However, many of Mr Musk’s coterie encouraged him to ‘liberate’ Twitter from what they believe is a censorious leadership.

Joe Rogan told Elon Musk that he should “liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob” when he owns the company.

“I will provide advice, which they may or may not choose to follow,” Mr Musk told Mr Rogan in response.

Mathias Döpfner, the chief executive of Axel Springer which owns Bild, Politico, and Business Insider, also suggested buying Twitter in a joint bid with Mr Musk.

“Game plan”, the message says: “Solve Free Speech … make it censorship-free … Make Twitter censorship-resistant”, and then create a “marketplace for algorithms” so that “if you’re a snowflake and don’t want content that offends you pick another algorithm”.

ICYMI: lon Musk buys Twitter – again: Tesla CEO renews $44bn offer in shocking twist

Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:01 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk looks set to purchase Twitter and take it private, months after trying to back out of the deal. Mr Musk revived his original offer of $44bn (£38bn) to purchase the company, which the tech platform has accepted.

The billionaire made the offer of $54.20 a share in a letter to Twitter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Adam Smith has the story.

Elon Musk buys Twitter – again: Tesla CEO renews $44bn offer in shocking twist

What does Elon Musk think about WeChat?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:30 , Adam Smith

Tesla has conducted much of its business in China, which means Elon Musk has experience with ‘super apps’ such as WeChat.

“You basically live on WeChat in China….if we can recreate that with Twitter we’ll be a great success,” he told Twitter employees in a meeting in June.

WeChat has more than one billion monthly users and combines social media, instant messaging and mobile payment in one app.

It’s unclear what actions Mr Musk would take to turn Twitter into that kind of platform, but he has hinted at lay-offs if his takeover goes through.

“It depends. The company does need to get healthy,” Mr Musk said. “Right now the costs exceed the revenue.”

ICYMI: Self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ to ‘red pill’ anti-lockdown crusader: What are Elon Musk’s politics?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 12:01 , Graeme Massie

The Tesla and SpaceX tycoon has donated to both parties and attacked everyone from Joe Biden through Donald Trump to trade unions and ‘pronouns’, but underneath it all there is a consistent ideology, writes Io Dodds.

What are Elon Musk’s political beliefs?

‘Super apps’ have ‘not really caught on’, social media expert says

Wednesday 5 October 2022 12:51 , Adam Smith

Some people are skeptical of Elon Musk’s attempt to build a super-app. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” social media expert and industry commentator Matt Navarra said.

“Super apps, as they are known in the industry, are not a new thing. They’ve been hugely successful in Asia, but have not really caught on elsewhere.

“Could Twitter form part of a super app that lets you buy goods, chat to friends, get news updates, book a taxi etc? Sure. Can Elon Musk make it work? Possibly. Will Elon actually do it? Who knows. He seems to have commitment issues.”

ICYMI: Timeline of Elon Musk’s battle for Tesla

Wednesday 5 October 2022 14:00 , Adam Smith

Here’s a look at some of what’s transpired between the Tesla titan and the San Francisco-based social media platform.

A timeline of billionaire Elon Musk's bid to control Twitter

Wednesday 5 October 2022 15:00 , Adam Smith

Many Twitter employees have expressed frustration with the new deal - especially as it scuppors plans for the next year.

“I am sitting on 2023 company wide strategy readouts and I guess we are going to collectively ignore what’s going on”, Rumman Chowdhury, the director of Twitter’s ML Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability team, tweeted.

Wednesday 5 October 2022 15:30 , Adam Smith

Parker Lyons, a senior financial analyst at the company, tweeted a meme that Twitter’s 2023 plans were ‘worthless’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:00 , Adam Smith

Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett said in a message to employees Tuesday that the company had received Musk’s letter and planned to close the deal at $54.20 per share. “I will continue to keep you posted on significant updates, but in the meantime, thank you for your patience as we work through this on the legal side,” he said, according to a copy of the message obtained by CNN.

Elon Musk could still go to court over Twitter deal

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:20 , Adam Smith

Despite the new offer, Mr Musk could still face the Court of Chancery.

Sources sources familiar with the litigation told Reuters on Wednesday that the court case could continue. “Keep an eye on the docket,” said one source.

Elon Musk could still face court case with Twitter despite new offer to buy company

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:30 , Adam Smith

Many employees were expressing concerns on Blind, an anonymous private forum popular among Twitter employees.

The reaction, according to CNN, was overwhelmingly negative. “Cue the layoffs,” one comment read.

Other employees were concerned that Mr Musk would roll back Twitter’s benefits package, including the severance offered to departing employees.

Mr Musk had previously said that Twitter’s costs were too high, amid an economic downturn across the United States and one that has stopped hiring among big tech companies.

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:00 , Adam Smith

“Virtually every Twitter employee I’ve spoken to in the last six months has told me that he or she plans to leave if Mr. Musk takes over”, the New York Times’ Kevin Roose writes.

Parag Agrawal, the current head of Twitter, has claimed that a “large silent majority” of employees supported Mr. Musk’s vision - however, Mr Agrawal will likely have to step down when Mr Musk takes over, and text messages suggest he and Mr Musk do not get on.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches four people to ISS

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:22 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk may have his eye on closing a deal for Twitter, but the Crew-5 mission on Wednesday became SpaceX’s fifth operational crew launch for Nasa to date and their eighth human flight in the last two years.

“That was a smooth ride uphill,” NASA astronaut and Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann said after the spacecraft reached orbit.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Musk and Twitter in negotiations to complete deal, says report

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:28 , Graeme Massie

The Wall Street Journal says that the billionaire and the social media platform are currently in negotiations to complete the $44bn purchase and a person familiar with the situation says that the parties hope to have a deal done today.

Musk will be ‘fairly distracted’ running Twitter, says Wall Street analyst

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:47 , Graeme Massie

Mr Musk may have his attention on completing his $44bn takeover of Twitter, but he also runs Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company.

“Near-term, I feel Musk, if this deal actually happens, needs to figure out the top-level, C-level exec team that they need to have in place,” Rohit Kulkarni, senior analyst at MKM Partners, told Yahoo Finance Live.

“Until then, I think it’s fair to say he will be fairly distracted with probably putting more time behind Twitter and putting less time behind other things.”

An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory on March 29, 2021 in Shanghai, China. (Getty Images)
An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory on March 29, 2021 in Shanghai, China. (Getty Images)

Elon Musk’s Twitter trial still set to go ahead, court states

Wednesday 5 October 2022 20:06 , Graeme Massie

“The parties have not filed a stipulation to stay this action, nor has any party moved for a stay. I, therefore, continue to press on toward our trial set to begin on October 17, 2022,” stated Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick on Wednesday.

Wednesday 5 October 2022 21:04 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Elon Musk has long-since hinted that X could be a social media site.

In a thread of posts about that eventuality, one user asked whether Mr Musk had planned to launch his own social network if he is successful in escaping the deal. It is unclear how that will now tie in if Mr Musk goes through with the deal.

Elon Musk hints he could launch his own social network

ICYMI: What is X.com?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 21:31 , Graeme Massie

X.com simply points to a website that shows the letter x, and nothing more. But it has long been owned by Mr Musk, who has used it for a variety of purposes.

Originally, X.com was an online bank that was co-founded by Mr Musk and would go on to become part of PayPal. The branding was eventually lost in a series of mergers in the early 2000s.

PayPal originally kept ownership of the X.com domain name, but sold it to Mr Musk in 2017. He said that he had bought it because of its “sentimental value”.

Since then, it has largely stayed dormant. While it has occasionally been used for marketing campaigns – such as directing visitors to a hat sale on another website – it has largely just shown that single “x”.

Mr Musk gave no indication of how that X.com website would look, or even a firm commitment that it would launch.

Private equity firm no longer involved with Musk’s Twitter bid

Wednesday 5 October 2022 22:12 , Graeme Massie

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is no longer involved with Elon Musk’s $44bn Twitter purchase, according to Reuters.

The New York-based company was set to provide $1bn of the fiancing for the Tesla CEO’s bid for the social media platform, but is reportedly no longer in talks with the billionaire.

Apollo declined to comment to the news organisation.

Twitter accused Musk of dodging deposition because of Covid risk

Wednesday 5 October 2022 22:27 , Graeme Massie

Lawyers for twitter say that Mr Musk dodged his deposition in their lawsuit against him on 28 September, because he cited the interviewing attorney had been exposed to the virus four days earlier.

Details of the incident have been made public in the latest documents for the trial, which is still slated to go ahead in the Delaware Court of Chancery on 17 October, despite Mr Murk’s renewed attempt to buy the company for $44bn.

Mr Musk’s deposition was moved to this Thursday and Friday, although it is unclear if it will now go through as a deal could be announced at any time.

Second investment firm backs out of financing Twitter deal

Wednesday 5 October 2022 23:22 , Graeme Massie

Sixth Street Partners have joined Apollo Global Management in backing out of providing financing for Elon Musk’s $44bn purchase of Twitter, according to Reuters.

Talks of providing money for deal have now ended, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

Lawyers may lose out on $1bn in fees if Twitter trial cancelled, report claims

Wednesday 5 October 2022 23:35 , Graeme Massie

Lawyers who were set to be involved in the Twitter-Elon Musk trial may lose out on something in the region of $1bn in fees, according to an expert.

More than 70 lawyers awere admitted to Delaware Chancery Court forthe trial which is still on the books for 17 October, but which will be cancelled if Mr Muk’s $44bn purchase goes through.

“With all the lawyers in the case and the potential for other litigation to spin out of this, such as investor suits, I could see the total legal fees reaching $1 billion,” John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor told Bloomberg.

The news organisation says that mnany of the lawyers involved could have charged up to $1,700 per hour for their services.

“That’s a lot of money for one hour of a lawyer’s time, but some lawyers’ time is worth it,” said William G Ross, a law professor at Samford University in Alabama who specialises in legal fees.

Twitter CEO will receive $42m if Musk fires him

Thursday 6 October 2022 00:39 , Graeme Massie

Parag Agrawal, the CEO of the social media platform, will receive the giant payout if the Tesla CEO fires him within 12 months of his proposed $44bn purchase of the company.

The detail was based on work by research firm Equilar and revealed by Reuters back in April when Mr Musk announced he was bidding to takeover the tech firm.