The saga going on between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter is seeing many turns, back-to-back. The story started with Musk disclosing a 9.2 per cent stake in the social media company last week and has now taken a turn where the Tesla CEO has offered a hostile takeover bid. Here’s the timeline of what’s happened so far:
On April 4: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk disclosed his passive stake of 9.2 per cent in the micro-blogging platform, according to a US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing on April 4. In the filing, Twitter Inc also disclosed that Elon Musk owns Twitter shares numbering to 73,486,938 as shares of common stock in his personal capacity.
On April 5: Twitter Inc on Tuesday said it is appointing its top shareholder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk to its board, a day after the billionaire disclosed his 9.2 per cent stake in the microblogging site. Musk will serve as a Class-II director, with the term expiring at Twitter’s 2024 annual meeting of stockholders.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet, “I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.”
April 11: Musk Offered Twitter Board Seat, Rejected
Musk Offered Twitter Board Seat: Parag informed that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not joining the board of Twitter. “The board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly. We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interest of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward. The board offered him a seat,” Agrawal said in a tweet.
Musk Declines Offer: Parag later said “Elon shared that…that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best. We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our Board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”
April 14-15: Musk Makes Takeover Bid, Events Triggered
Billionaire Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for USD 43 billion, a regulatory filing showed on April 14. The 50-year-old tycoon announced the offer in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. According to the filing, the billionaire will shell out USD 54.20 per share in cash, a 54 per cent premium over the January 28 closing price.
After launching the hostile takeover, the Tesla boss said on April 14: “Twitter has extraordinary potential, I will unlock it.”
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter to Bret Taylor, chairman of Twitter board.
Musk said he wants to transform Twitter as a private company. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
The Tesla CEO said he has a ‘Plan B’ if Twitter’s board decides to reject his offer of buying out the social media company. Musk also said he will endeavor to keep as many shareholders in privatised Twitter as allowed by law.
After acquiring 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, Musk ran a poll asking his followers, “Do you want an edit button?” An edit button to get rid of typos while tweeting has been a long-standing demand of social media users.
Musk No Longer The Largest Shareholder: With funds held by the Vanguard group taking a 10.3 per cent holding in Twitter, the group has now become the largest shareholder in the San Francisco-headquarter social media major.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sought to reassure employees during an all-hands meeting on Thursday that the company was not being “held hostage” by news of Elon Musk’s offer to buy the company.