Will Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover offer ultimately succeed?
Market analysts have thus far seemed pessimistic about Musk’s chances, and the seriousness of his offer, but now, Musk is exploring alternative options, even if his initial offer of $54.20 per share is not accepted by Twitter’s board.
According to the latest reports, Musk is now exploring a possible tender offer for the company, which would effectively bypass Twitter’s board and put the decision into the hands of the company’s shareholders.
As reported by CNBC:
“In an updated filing published Thursday, Musk said that given the lack of response from Twitter’s board, he is now exploring a tender offer to purchase some or all shares of the company directly from its stockholders.”
That’s in line with Musk’s more recent tweets about a potential tender offer.
Though it’s a much harder road to take for an acquisition, with a lot more moving parts, and even with support to launch a tender bid, it could be tough going for the billionaire businessman.
According to CNBC’s report, Musk has now secured commitments for $46.5 billion to help finance his Twitter push, so he can actually go ahead with his original offer, if it’s accepted. So while many analysts had dismissed Musk’s original offer as too low, and likely more of a stunt than a genuine attempt to become Twitter’s owner, it seems that Musk is for real in his desire to own the platform, and convert it into his vision of a haven for free speech.
Which, as we reported recently, seems a little murky, based on Musk’s history of trying to silence people and content that he personally doesn’t like. Indeed, Musk and his company Tesla have a long track record of working to silence critics, through various tactics – so while Musk may be outwardly in support of ‘free speech principles’, and allowing people to share their thoughts, it seems that he too has his limits in what that might mean.
Which suggests that Musk is in support of certain guardrails, just not the ones that, you know, might protect other people as well.
It’s still difficult to say what exactly Musk’s plans are with Twitter, and whether he really wants to take over the company. The constant references to ‘420’ and other in-jokes make it seems like Musk is treating this as a high-stakes game, a hobby to keep him entertained – but if he actually did win, and actually did take control of Twitter, what would he do with it, and would that improve the platform in any way?
Even today, Musk is still tweeting out his ideas and concepts, which may or may not be possible under his leadership.
And authenticate all real humans
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
Definitely, bots are a problem, and Twitter is constantly working to improve on this (even if it seems like it could do more), while authenticating all users is also something Twitter has mulled in the past, so these aren’t radical ideas.
But they are likely more complex than Musk, who has no experience running a social network, might think.
Which is really the core issue – while everyone has their own ideas and thoughts on how to improve every social platform, actually implementing such improvements is a lot harder than you might think, and without that internal insight, and oversight, it’s much easier to come up with optimistic solutions which only work in an idealistic sense.
Musk might think that he knows how to ‘fix’ Twitter, but based on his own history, and the history of his company, he’s not as open to ‘free speech’ as even he thinks.
Should the mega-rich be able to set the rules on what gets discussed online? Would Elon Musk be able to stop himself from stepping in to quell criticisms of Tesla, or himself, if he had the capacity to do so?
Would Twitter actually be a better place if Musk were in charge?
I’d hazard a bet that it won’t – but we may soon find out either way.