Elon Musk’s ploy to buy 100% of Twitter for $43 billion may not be successful, and the billionaire already has a “plan B” up his sleeve. On Thursday (14), the CEO of Tesla said at an event in Canada that he “is not sure” if he will be able to acquire the microblog for US$ 54.20 per share – an offer considered by himself as his “best and final” offer. . In the meantime, Musk has lost his position as the platform’s largest shareholder.
Twitter received Musk’s offer on Wednesday (13), but is still awaiting review of the proposal by the board of directors. The price of US$ 54.20 for each title of the social network is lower than the peak of 2021, when the stock reached US$ 70. Yesterday, the CEO of the platform, Parag Agrawal, told employees that the company is evaluating the case. .
The billionaire added in an interview with TED2022 in Vancouver, Canada, that he has a plan B in case his offer is rejected. Musk has already warned that, in the eventual decline of the proposal, he would consider selling his 9.2% shares of Twitter. He, however, is no longer the company’s largest shareholder: now, that position belongs to the investment fund Vanguard Group.
The fund revealed in a document filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it acquired a 10.3% stake in Twitter, and has been buying shares since the beginning of the 1st quarter of 2022. Elon Musk retains the position of largest individual shareholder , ahead of Jack Dorsey, founder of the microblog.
When asked at TED2022 about the funds used to buy Twitter — most of Elon Musk’s net worth is not liquid — the billionaire replied that he “has funds in reserve” if the proposal is accepted. Financial consultancy Wells Fargo speculates that Tesla’s CEO would have to sell shares in the automaker to go ahead with the deal.
Musk is used to having his business strategies questioned in US courts. He is being sued by Twitter investors for allegedly omitting to buy 5% of the social network.
“Arena of Freedom of Expression”
At the event in Vancouver, Musk reaffirmed that he wants to turn Twitter into an “open arena for free speech.” For him, the social network is “in fact the public square” of the internet.
In Musk’s opinion, some moderation of content on Twitter would still be necessary, especially in the case of tweets related to apology or explicit violence. The social network must also follow the laws of the countries where it operates.
But the billionaire argues that the platform’s algorithm and policies should be more transparent and open to user criticism.
In general, Musk is also against the permanent banning of users, as was the case with former US President Donald Trump after his supporters invaded the Capitol. He prefers “temporary suspensions” instead.
Twitter is ‘not hostage’ to Musk, says Agrawal
Under pressure from Musk’s bid, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said yesterday at an emergency meeting that the platform is “not hostage” to the billionaire’s proposal. The speech was aimed at employees to calm them down, according to a news agency source. Reuters.
Agrawal also stated that “we as Twitter employees determine what happens.” The CEO was answering employee questions through the microblog’s internal Slack channel.
When asked about the vision of “freedom of expression” that Musk would put into practice if he became the owner of Twitter, Agrawal did not give a direct answer, citing that one of the main focuses of the social network is to improve the “well-being” of interactions. between users.
“Are we going to invite any and all billionaires to the board?” said an employee during the meeting. Twitter’s CEO responded, “I firmly believe that we need to empathize with the voice of those who are critical of our service so that we can learn and improve it.”
With information: CNBC and Business Insider