Twitter and Musk have, so far, been working together to close the deal, a person with knowledge of the matter said, though that dynamic can change quickly.
How Elon Musk’s Twitter deal unfolded
A very successful deal. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has capped off what seemed like an unlikely attempt by the famously fickle billionaire to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion. Here’s how the deal unfolded:
Musk’s hand could be strengthened by the uncertainty his offer has created within Twitter, which could potentially make it difficult for the company to continue independently. The company has struggled to add users and generate more revenue, and on Thursday Agrawal fired two top executives, halted new hires and vowed to cut expenses.
In his tweets on Friday, Agrawal said he was making changes because the Musk deal was “not an excuse to avoid making important decisions for the health of the company.” He added that Twitter was part of an industry that was “in a very challenging macro environment right now.”
Musk has pledged to use his personal fortune to finance the Twitter deal, a plan that has been hit by a recent drop in share prices, including that of Tesla. Tesla shares have fallen nearly 30 percent in the last month. Musk is selling Tesla shares and putting them up as collateral for personal loans to raise cash.
If a deal were to go through, trading challenges on Twitter could force Musk to dip deeper into his Tesla stock to plug potential financial holes. And any problem at Tesla that caused his shares to drop enough could trigger clauses in Musk’s personal loans that would force him to add more collateral, limiting his ability to invest in Twitter.
Tesla shares rose on Friday after Musk’s comments.
The fluctuations in Twitter and Tesla stocks that followed Musk’s tweets could come under scrutiny. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Musk with securities fraud in 2018 after he falsely tweeted that he had raised funds to take Tesla private, sending the automaker’s shares up 6 percent. Musk and Tesla paid a $40 million fine for the tweet. A shareholder lawsuit against Musk over the tweet is ongoing.
“If I were your attorney, I would spend the morning struggling to figure out what the implication of all this is under federal security law,” said Marc Leaf, a partner at Faegre Drinker and a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney.