Elon Musk Suspends Buying Twitter, Stock Plummets
Elon Musk has put his deal to buy Twitter on hold. The Tesla boss wrote on Twitter on Friday that he first wanted to wait for calculations to show that accounts with no real users behind them actually accounted for less than five percent. The short message service published this estimate earlier in the week.
Twitter stock quickly fell nearly a quarter in premarket trading after Musk’s tweet, to trade at around $34.50. That’s a far cry from the $54.20 a share Musk had promised shareholders. The paper went out of business on Thursday at $45.08 – a sign of investor skepticism that Musk is actually going through with the deal.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had agreed with the Twitter board of directors on a deal worth around 44 billion dollars. However, he is still dependent on enough shareholders wanting to sell him their shares. Twitter and Musk previously wanted to complete the acquisition by the end of the year. In the past few months, he has already bought a good nine percent stake in Twitter on the stock exchange.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Exit the deal or lower the bid?
Twitter and Elon Musk both agreed to a $1 billion fine if either side canceled the deal. But experts didn’t think that meant Musk could just change his mind without explanation and be off the hook with a billion dollars.
In the past few days, other problems for the deal have also become apparent. Musk originally wanted to borrow around $12 billion of the purchase price, which would be secured with his Tesla shares. But after Tesla’s share price plummeted from around $1,000 to just $728, this plan became increasingly unfavorable to him. Financial service Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Musk is looking for alternative sources of funding instead of the equity-backed loan.
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