The social network confirmed the news this Friday: Elon Musk is the new master on board. The last chapter of a forced marriage.
Elon Musk did not want it, yet here he is (un) happy owner of Twitter. This Friday, the social network confirmed the purchase which had to be concluded by this deadline, otherwise a lawsuit became inevitable between the two parties. If the billionaire seems to have got used to the idea of this forced purchase, it mainly concludes a soap opera with twists and turns launched, almost as a joke, last April. Return on a falling out of love in ten dates.
April 4: Elon Musk becomes the group’s largest shareholder
Unrestrained user of the social network, where he has become accustomed to speaking freely – even if it means being slapped on the fingers by the policeman of the American stock market, Elon Musk announces on April 4, 2022 the purchase of 9.2% of capital from Twitter. There is no talk of a takeover yet and the billionaire even assures that he does not want to influence the company’s major strategic decisions: he will also give up joining the board of directors. This investment nevertheless allowed him to become the first shareholder of the social network, ahead of the group’s founder, Jack Dorsey.
April 14: Tesla boss announces plans to buy “100% of Twitter”
Ten days later, the boss of Tesla clarifies his intentions: he finally wants take over the entire company and take it out of the stock exchange. Its offer valued Twitter at 44 billion dollars – against 36 billion actual valuation at the material time. At Twitter, the coup goes badly but the boss of Tesla shows the muscles: in the event of refusal, he threatens to “re-examine his position as a shareholder” within the social network. Forced, the social network announces “carefully examine” this “unsolicited and non-binding offer”, not without trying to scuttle the billionaire’s coup by a “poisoned” clause. In vain.
April 25: the social network finally agrees to be bought out
While the boss of Tesla had indicated that he had secured nearly $46.5 billion to fund the transaction, Twitter ultimately accepts the takeover offer. The social network will thus be bought for $44 billion. The definitive acquisition agreement provides that the social network will be 100% owned by Elon Musk, and will therefore exit the stock market.
May 13: Elon Musk suspends takeover
First twist. After days of rumors, Elon Musk announces he is suspending the takeover of Twitter. He wants to make sure that the social network does not contain no more than 5% fake accounts. The figure is an indicator that is extremely scrutinized by social network investors because the latter’s income is based on the display of advertising to (real) Internet users. Clearly, fake accounts are all potential users who will not actually be monetizable.
For its part, Twitter accuses Elon Musk of having violated a confidentiality agreement by disclosing its method used internally to assess this proportion of fake accounts. A few days later, the billionaire amounted to between 20 to 50% fake Twitter accounts.
June 6: the tension rises, Elon Musk threatens to slam the door again
The case of fake accounts continues to swell. Believing that Twitter is reluctant to share its information on this subject, the boss of Tesla threatens for the second time to withdraw his offer. What to do to react the social network, which three days later, announces that it will provide the much requested data.
July 8: Redemption is dropped
After a month of tension – with the war in Ukraine and the fall in the price of Tesla in the background – Elon Musk finally announces, in a letter addressed to the American stock market policeman, that he is ending negotiations for the takeover of Twitter . According to him, the platform has not fulfilled its transparency commitments regarding the number of fake accounts on the platform.
July 11: the course of Twitter unscrews, the arm wrestling begins
Unsurprisingly, the price of Twitter fell at the opening of Wall Street, further weakening a company that was already running out of steam. Initially refractory to the takeover, Twitter now demands that Elon Musk keep his word by paying the 44 billion dollars. To compel him, Twitter will embark on a legal battle and file a complaint on July 12
July 29: A trial is scheduled for October 17
The summer will be dotted with legal hearings between the two camps, mainly around fake accounts. For Musk, Twitter has not been honest in its information, so the purchase is void. But for the social network, it was rather the setbacks of Tesla’s course on Wall Street that motivated the billionaire to give up. To settle the dispute, a judge orders a trial on October 17. Bad news for Elon Musk who is struggling to convince of his good faith. Especially since a lost lawsuit would be extremely costly for him.
October 3: Elon Musk resigns himself to buying Twitter
As the date of the trial approaches, the billionaire finds that he has every chance of losing his legal showdown. Not without bitterness, he therefore ended up announcing to the American stock market policeman, on October 3, that he was going to buy the social network for the planned sum – that is 44 billion. Enigmatic, he promises to make it an “all-purpose application” on the model of Chinese WeChat.
October 27: the purchase is official
October 27 was the deadline to act on his promise, otherwise a trial would be organized. It was therefore this Friday that Elon Musk confirmed, on Twitter, of course, his acquisition promising – contrary to his previous comments – not to make the platform a “lawless zone” on freedom of expression.