According to a new Washington Post report that relies heavily on anonymous sources, the world’s richest man is still looking for a way out of a $44 billion deal he engineered.
According to unnamed sources familiar with Musk’s plans, the Post expects to see a “change in direction from Elon Musk’s team” soon. Furthermore, Musk and his associates are said to have “stopped engaging in certain discussions” about funding the deal. After signing on in early May, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Binance, and Fidelity are all on board for financing.
With these new shenanigans, Elon Musk appears to be sowing doubt about Twitter’s bot estimates once more, but how and if those alleged concerns would even affect a deal he’s already signed is unclear. The terms of the merger agreement include a requirement that Musk pay $1 billion if he backs out of the deal, though it appears that he’s combing through the fine print here as well, looking for a way out.
Elon Musk has made a lot of noise recently, claiming that Twitter misled him about the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform. Twitter held a press conference on Thursday to discuss its bot-counting methodology, which has long revealed that less than 5% of the platform’s accounts aren’t real people.
Elon Musk made an offer to buy Twitter in April, and the company quickly accepted. Following that — and after the economic winds shifted, taking his Tesla stock with them — Musk claimed that the deal he had already agreed to with Twitter was “on hold,” a status that was not supported by any filings or external realities other than Musk’s tweets.
The whole thing appears to be a thin charade for a guy trying to get out of a bad timing acquisition. Unfortunately for Elon Musk and the Twitter employees who have been on this multimonth acquisition roller coaster, the ink on the deal has already dried.
Elon Musk took part in a companywide call with Twitter employees last month, a rare instance of actually engaging with the entity he’s on the hook to buy, and a gesture that signaled he was moving forward with the deal he had to move forward with.
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A few things have changed since he began negotiating to buy Twitter this spring. In the interim, markets plummeted and reports surfaced that Elon Musk had exposed himself to a SpaceX flight attendant, who later received a quarter-million dollar hush payment. Oh, and Musk appears to have recently fathered children with a Neuralink employee who reports directly to him — not exactly a stellar leadership resume. Nonetheless, Musk appears to be on track to take over as CEO of Twitter.