A timeline of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter


Elon Musk said he will prioritize free speech on the site and add new features.

Twitter users woke up on April 4 to find the words “Elon” and “Elon Musk” trending on the site — not because the world’s richest, most-followed businessman had caused a stir with his futuristic companies, but because he had a large stake in Twitter Inc.

Suddenly, Musk was Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, owning more than 9% of the company, and there was speculation about how he would influence the network’s future. He had regularly tweeted ideas to revamp the social media platform. Over the course of the week, Musk would accept an offer to join Twitter’s board of directors and, in a sudden turn of events, turn down that offer five days later, leaving the company’s management, employees, investors and interested observers guessing. to his plans.

on April 25, Twitter and Musk said they had reached an agreement for the billionaire to take over the company and take it privately. They expect the deal to close before the end of the year, and a lot could still happen before then. As the news develops, here’s a rundown of what’s happened so far:

January 31st: Musk begins to build up his share

Musk quietly started buying Twitter stock on January 31. By March 14, Musk had amassed a stake of more than 5%, by which time he had to disclose the activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission and by extension to the public. Musk missed the deadline to notify the SEC by 10 days. Because Twitter’s stock price soared the moment his stock was revealed, he was able to amass more cheaply by not disclosing anything — a misstep that would later lead to a shareholder lawsuit.

March 24: Musk begins to criticize Twitter, on Twitter

His share still a secret, Musk began tweeting criticism of the company in late March.

“Concerned about de facto bias in the Twitter algorithm having a major effect on the public; Twitter algorithm should be open source,” Musk tweeted on March 24.

“Freedom of speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe that Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?” Musk asked his Twitter followers in a poll posted on March 25.

“Is a new platform needed?” Musk asked in a tweet on March 26. “I’m seriously thinking about this.”

Several users who commented on the tweet from the CEO of Tesla Inc. advised him to buy Twitter instead. They would soon discover that he was already acquiring stock.

April 4: Musk’s bet goes public and he’s been invited to join the Twitter board

Musk’s file listed him as a passive investor, and yet, shortly after it went public, he started tweeting business proposals for the social media company. Musk posted another poll on Twitter asking users to vote on whether they want the company to add an edit button that allows people to edit tweets after they’ve been published. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal urged users to “vote cautiously” on the poll. “The implications of this poll will be important.”

Towards the end of the day, Twitter invited Musk to join the board. Musk indicated he would sign an agreement stating that he would not own more than 14.9% of the company’s stock.

April 5th: Musk becomes an active investor

In the morning, several Twitter board members took to the platform to congratulate Musk on his decision to join them. Agrawal tweeted that the company and Musk had been chatting for weeks. Agrawal’s tweet led people to wonder why someone who was discussing becoming a director would sign up as a passive investor.

Later that day, Musk again made the disclosure of his stake to classify himself as an active investor, making the change only after indicating that he would accept a seat on the social media company’s board.

Apr 9: Musk turns down the board seat

The day Musk officially joined Twitter’s board, Musk informed the company that he would decline his offer. But Twitter was on the news for about 36 hours while waiting to see if Musk would change his mind. On Twitter’s investor relations website, Musk featured as a board member all weekend.

At the time, while the public still thought Musk would join the board of Twitter, Musk tweeted several veiled critiques and suggestions for the company. Musk asked his followers, “Is Twitter dying?”

Musk suggested that anyone who signs up for Twitter Blue, a subscription version for power users, should be given an authentication check. He suggested that Twitter convert its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter “because nobody shows up anyway.” And he made some crass jokes, suggesting to remove the “w” on Twitter.

April 10: Twitter makes the news public

On Sunday, Agrawal sends a note to employees and later tweets it publicly. Neither Agrawal nor Musk give a reason for the reversal.

11 April: There is a lot of speculation

Musk files an amended disclosure with the SEC. He can now buy as many shares as he wants. Without a board seat, he no longer has to act in the interest of Twitter shareholders. At Twitter, which doesn’t have a majority-controlled founder like other tech giants, employees are “super stressed,” worried that this is just the beginning of the whiplash.

Apr 14: Musk offers to buy the entire company

In an SEC filing and accompanying tweet, Musk said he would buy out shareholders in a $43 billion cash deal and take Twitter private. The offer is $54.20 per share, a 54% premium to the price when it started building its stake in January. The song is also an obvious (and not very subtle) reference to Musk’s failed bid to take Tesla private in 2018 for $420 a share — and, of course, to a special pot culture number. Morgan Stanley is called in to advise on the offer, which Musk describes as his “best and last”.

15 of April: Twitter uses ‘poison pill’ to avert Musk’s takeover

To thwart Musk, Twitter launched a so-called poison pill, a rights plan that allows shareholders to buy shares at a discount if a shareholder owns more than 15%. This would effectively dilute the billionaire’s interest. The company said in a statement that the intent of the plan is to ensure that anyone who takes control through accumulation in the open market pays all shareholders an appropriate premium. Twitter has sparked interest from other parties, including private equity firm Thoma Bravo, according to a well-known person. The company is advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, a friend of Musk, acknowledged in a tweet that Twitter has always been for sale as a publicly traded company.

April 16: ‘Twitter board owns almost no shares’

In a torrent of tweets about the potential deal, Musk said: “With Jack leaving, the Twitter board collectively owns almost no stock,” so his economic interests are not aligned with those of shareholders. Dorsey replied, “It’s always been the dysfunction of the company.” It is intended that Dorsey will leave the board of directors upon expiry of his term at the next shareholders’ meeting on May 25.

Vanguard’s April 8 revelation that it owns 82.4 million shares or 10.3% of the company fuels tweets that Musk is no longer the largest Twitter shareholder.

Apr 19: Musk retains Morgan Stanley to consider leveraged buyout

The New York Post reports that Musk is willing to invest and borrow up to $15 billion of his own money against his Twitter stake to push through a deal.

April 21: Musk arranges $46.5 billion in financing

Musk is investigating a bid on Twitter, saying he has secured $46.5 in funding. A filing with the SEC reveals that he has $25.5 billion in debt financing from Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions, including margin loans backed by his equity stake in Tesla and $21 billion in equity financing from himself. But whether the billionaire will sell some of his stake in one of his prized companies to take over Twitter remains to be seen.

Apr 24: The board is in talks with Musk

Talks between the Twitter board and Musk took place on Sunday and continued into the next day. The board began to take Musk’s offer more seriously when he presented details about his financing.

April 25: Musk buys Twitter

Twitter agreed to sell to Musk for its original offer of $54.20 a share. The transaction, valued at approximately $44 billion, will sell the company. Musk said he will prioritize free speech on the site, open source its algorithms, eliminate spam and add new features. Twitter said it expects the deal to close in 2022.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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