Twitter reportedly close to a deal with Elon Musk
Social media company's board is set to accept Musk's bid to buy the company for $43 billion, according to media reports.
Twitter's board is reportedly close to a deal with Elon Musk over the Tesla CEO's bid to buy the social platform and take it private.
Reuters and the New York Times reported that the board could announce an agreement as soon as Monday accepting Musk's initial offer to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share, or about $43 billion.
Twitter's board and Tesla CEO Elon Musk negotiated into the early hours of Monday over his bid to buy the social media platform, the Times reported.
Musk revealed last week that he had lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company's board to negotiate a deal.
Citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation, the Times and Reuters said the two sides were discussing details around the deal, including potential fees in case an agreement was signed and then fell apart.
Wall Street analysts believe a deal will be announced before Twitter reports its first-quarter financial results on Thursda.
"Twitter reports earnings later this week, which likely will not be rainbows and smiles thus putting further pressure on the company around this game of high stakes poker with the Musk bid looming," Wedbush Securities analysts Daniel Ives and John Katsingris said in a research note.
No bidding war coming
After Musk revealed earlier this month that he had bought a stake in Twitter and proposed to buy the company outright, the company's board adopted an anti-takeover measure known as a poison pill designed fend off a hostile bid. But the board decided to negotiate after Musk updated his proposal to show he had secured financing, according to The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the latest negotiations were underway.
Twitter may also struggle to attract any rival bidders, especially given the growing scrutiny of social media companies and their content moderation practices — something that Musk has vowed to deemphasize.
"The Twitter board could not find a white knight, and with Musk's financing detailed the clock has essentially struck midnight for the board, which is why negotiations have begun to get a deal done," Ives said.
Musk's offer, announced April 14, values the platform at $54.20 per share, or about $43 billion. Last week, Musk said in documents filed with U.S. securities regulators that the money would come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, some of it secured by his huge stake in the electric car maker.
Twitter has not commented.
Less moderation, less fakes
Musk has said he wants to buy Twitter because he feels the company isn't living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.
In recent weeks, he has voiced a number of proposed changes for the social networking site, from relaxing its content restrictions — such as the rules that suspended former President Donald Trump's account — to ridding the platform of its problems with fake and automated accounts.
Musk is the world's wealthiest person, according to Forbes, with a nearly $279 billion fortune. But much of his money is tied up in Tesla stock: he owns about 17% of the company, according to FactSet, which is valued at more than $1 trillion. He also owns SpaceX, his privately held space company. It's unclear how much cash Musk has.