Elon Musk, the billionaire set to acquire Twitter later this week, walked into the company’s headquarters on Wednesday with a porcelain sink and tweeted “Walking into Twitter headquarters – let it sink! “
Musk’s $44 billion deal to privatize Twitter faces a deadline on Friday, although the video he posted offered no evidence that the acquisition is complete. Representatives for Twitter and Musk had no comment on the matter, although Twitter confirmed that Musk’s video tweet was real. Musk has also changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and his location at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
The eye-popping video – a vintage production by Musk – also brought attention back to the world’s richest man and his recurring quest for the social platform.
The Friday deadline to complete the deal was ordered by the Delaware Chancery court in early October. It’s the latest leg of an epic battle in which Musk signed a deal to acquire Twitter and then tried to walk away, leading Twitter to sue the Tesla CEO to force him to close the deal. ‘OK. If both sides miss Friday’s deadline, the next step could be a trial in November.
Robert Anderson, a law professor at Pepperdine University, said he expected the deal to be done by Friday’s deadline, but didn’t see much substance in the video by Musk. “I don’t see anything unusual about that, other than he brought a sink,” he said.
Musk was due to visit Twitter this week and is expected to return on Friday if the deal is finalized, according to an internal memo cited in a Bloomberg News report.
His apparent enthusiasm for visiting Twitter’s headquarters stood in stark contrast to one of his earlier suggestions that the building should be turned into a “homeless shelter” because, he said, if few employees actually worked there.
The Washington Post reported last week that Musk has told potential investors he plans to cut three-quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 employees when he takes ownership of the company. The newspaper cited documents and unnamed sources close to the deliberation. Several hours after posting his sink video, Musk tweeted that he was meeting “a lot of nice people on twitter today!” He gave no details.
One of Musk’s biggest hurdles to closing the deal was keeping the promised funding in place. about six months ago.
A group of banks, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, signed on earlier this year to lend $12.5 billion of the money Musk needed to buy Twitter and take it private. Strong contracts with Musk have tied banks to funding, although changes in the economy and debt markets since April have likely made terms less attractive. Musk even said his investment group would buy Twitter for more than it’s worth.
What happens with the billions of dollars promised to Musk by investors who would get stakes in Twitter is less clear. Musk’s original list of equity partners included a range of partners from the billionaire’s tech friends with similar ideas on Twitter’s future, like Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, to royalty-controlled funds. from the Middle-East.
The more equity investors participate in the deal, the less Musk has to pay himself. Most of his wealth is tied to shares in Tesla, the electric car company he runs. Since April, he has sold more than $15 billion worth of Tesla stock, presumably to pay for his share. Other sales could happen.
Musk, 51, shared some concrete details about his plans for the social media platform. Although he’s been touting free speech and mocking spambots since agreeing to buy the company in April, what he actually wants to do about either remains a mystery.
Tech analysts have speculated that Musk wants to use Twitter to help create a “comprehensive app” similar to China’s WeChat service, which lets users video chat, send messages, stream videos, scan barcodes and make payments.
Musk’s flirtation with buying Twitter seemed to start at the end of March. That’s when Twitter said it contacted its board members – including co-founder Jack Dorsey – and told them he was buying stock and was interested in joining the board. administration, to privatize Twitter or to launch a competitor.
Then, on April 4, he disclosed in a regulatory filing that he had become the company’s largest shareholder after acquiring a 9% stake worth around $3 billion.
At first, Twitter offered Musk a seat on its board. But six days later, CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted that Musk wouldn’t join the board after all. His offer to buy the company soon followed.
Inside Twitter, Musk’s offer was met with confusion and low morale, especially after Musk publicly criticized one of Twitter’s top lawyers involved in content moderation decisions.
In July, Musk abruptly reversed course, announcing he was backing out of his offer to buy Twitter. His reason given: Twitter hadn’t been candid about its problem with fake accounts it dubbed “spam bots.” Twitter sued and two weeks before a 5-day trial began, Musk changed his mind againsaying he wanted to close the deal after all.
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