Twitter Board Unanimously Backs Elon Musk’s $44 Billion Buyout Bid

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
June 21, 2022 Updated: June 21, 2022

Twitter’s board has issued a unanimous recommendation that shareholders approve Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy the social media platform, regulatory filings show.

In a preliminary proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 21 addressed to Twitter stockholders (pdf), the company’s board says it “unanimously recommends” that shareholders vote in favor of approving a merger agreement that would see a company controlled by Musk take ownership of Twitter.

“If the merger is completed, you will be entitled to receive $54.20 in cash, without interest and subject to any applicable withholding taxes, for each share of our common stock that you own,” the board said in the filing.

This purchase price amounts to a premium of around 38 percent above the closing price of Twitter common stock on April 1, the last full trading day before Musk disclosed he held a 9-percent stake in the company.

If the transaction is completed as per the board’s recommendation, Twitter stockholders stand to pocket a profit of around $15 for each share that they own.

Twitter shares rose about 3 percent to $38.98 ahead of the opening bell Tuesday, well below Musk’s offer price.

The billionaire tech mogul has stood by his proposal to buy Twitter, though doubts about whether the transaction would go through have swirled after Musk said he was putting the Twitter acquisition on hold in order to find out more about inauthentic activity on the platform, including fake accounts.

Musk accused Twitter of allowing a significant number of automated or “bot” accounts on the platform and demanded that the company release the relevant data to him so that his team could carry out his own review.

Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, later said nonpublic information would be required to obtain an accurate bot count. This prompted Musk to accuse the company of “resisting and thwarting” his ability to obtain information about fake or automated Twitter, with the Tesla CEO saying that it’s a “breach” of the terms of their April agreement.

At the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, a moderator asked Musk whether Twitter had provided him with “enough information” on the bot accounts.

“We’re still awaiting resolution on that matter, and that is a very significant matter,” Musk replied, reiterating doubts over Twitter’s claims that fake accounts amount to fewer than 5 percent of the platform’s monetizable daily active users.

“And then of course, there’s the question of, will the debt portion of the round come together? And then will the shareholders vote in favor?” Musk added.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter with a request for comment on Musk’s remarks in Doha but received no reply by press time.

Twitter’s SEC filing on Tuesday made no mention of Musk’s bot-related reservations though it does shed light on Musk’s question as to whether shareholders will vote in favor of the deal.

In Doha, Musk was also asked if he would step into the role of Twitter CEO if his buyout bid proves successful.

“I would drive the product, which is what I do at SpaceX and Tesla. Whether I am called the CEO or something else is much less important,” he replied.

Musk’s response built on earlier remarks he made during an all-hands meeting at Twitter, in which he said he doesn’t “really care” about holding the top title “but people do need to listen to me.”

Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'