ⓘ Featured image: Elon Musk (L) and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; Credits: Getty Images
The Billionaire entrepreneur and currently the world’s richest man, Elon Musk who earlier this week refused a board seat on Twitter, is now in a clash with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Musk who currently owns slightly more than 9 percent shares in Twitter, on Thursday offered to buy Twitter for $43.4 billion i.e. a takeover of the rest 91 percent of shares at the rate of $54.2 per share.
In the filing, Elon said,
“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,”
“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.” added Musk.
In response to Elon Musk’s proposal, Twitter said,
“The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders,”
But before there could be newer developments and statements happen, Saudi prince Talal tweeted in opposition to Musk’s proposal saying,
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.”
“Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”
In reply to prince Talal’s tweet, Musk said,
“Interesting. Just two questions, if I may.”
“How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly?”
“What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”
Besides this, the reason why Elon Musk refused a board seat on Twitter has something to do with what was inked in his agreement to join the board. Which, Musk promised not to increase his stake to more than 14.9 percent in the company; but his decision not to join the board frees him from that limit, according to an updated SEC filing on Monday.
Speaking of which, Daniel Ives, Managing Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst covering the Technology sector at Wedbush Securities since 2018, said
“Elon takes a more hostile stance towards Twitter and further builds his active stake in the company.” Musk could, for example, join forces with a private equity firm to buy more of the company and try to force “major strategic changes” or even a sale, Ives wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
“In our opinion, the Twitter board and Musk could not come to an agreement around Musk’s communications with the public (various polls) over Twitter as he likely needed to take a more back seat/quiet stance as part of joining the board,” Ives said.
Musk all over the week tweeted a lot about Twitter, and has apparently deleted several tweets including a poll that said “Delete the w in Twitter?”
Elon Musk has also cancelled his question and answer session with Twitter employees which was supposed to happen this week itself.
It is not only prince Talal who opposed Elon’s plan to buyout Twitter, but also Vivian Schiller, an Ex-Twitter executive; Bruce Daisley, Twitter’s former vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa among other reputed people.