Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition is in limbo
Elon Musk’s Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) acquisition is anything but done. $TWTR had fallen below the stock price before Elon Musk announced his initial stake — and is down over 30% from its $54.20 acquisition price. Speculations are now on Musk backing out or negotiating a better price.
The Twitter clown show continues
Musk rushed to put a deal together with little due diligence — but has already signed a binding contract that requires him to buy Twitter.
If he walks, he’ll have to pay a $1B breakup fee — or could be sued for breaking the contract. Here’s how he can back out of the deal:
- Per Matt Levine of Bloomberg, Musk can walk away if Twitter’s securities filings are wrong.
- In a recent securities filing, Twitter had estimated false or spam accounts at less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users.
Musk tweeted that the deal was “temporarily on hold” pending calculations on the number of spam/fake Twitter accounts, later saying he was “still committed.”
But the impact on Twitter’s earnings would have to be significant enough to allow Musk to walk away — which in this case, likely won’t hold up in court, per Levine.
Twitter has shown its hands
On Friday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said he expects the deal to close but is preparing for all possibilities. Preparations include announcing a hiring freeze, plans to cut costs and the departure of two execs.
Advertisers and employees have responded to the buyout with their own exit plans:
- Casey Newton of Platformer spoke to Twitter employees who said there was a mood of exhaustion and employees are showing “little to no faith in the board” or its CEO.
- Advertisers are concerned about Musk’s plans to turn Twitter into a free speech platform — afraid of ads displayed alongside offensive content.
Automakers are also worried that their marketing plans will leak to one of their biggest rivals, Tesla (FT). In its latest earnings report, Twitter admitted to overstating user numbers by ~2M users for nearly three years — and it’s the second time this has happened.
Investors: Calling BS on Elon Musk’s plan
Musk shared his plans to grow Twitter’s sales 5x by 2028, along with several other farfetched projections, in a deck obtained by NYT.
Jefferies Senior Analyst Brent Thill gave a “very low probability of Twitter achieving Elon Musk’s reported targets” (YF!) — calling it out for unrealistic growth projections.
Elsewhere: On Friday, the Founder of FTX Crypto Exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, took a 7.6% stake in Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD). Axios asked SBF if he would be interested in buying Robinhood and SBF responded with, “we’re always open to any conversations.”