Billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and social media giant Twitter are reportedly on the verge of making a deal this week after Musk offered to buy the platform for around $43 billion in cash earlier this month.
According to Reuters and Wall Street Journal on Monday, sources familiar with the negotiations said Twitter could announce an agreement to sell the company to Musk as early as Monday. The sources warned that the deal still has the potential to fall apart at the last minute.
Twitter has reportedly been attempting to add a “go-shop” provision to the agreement, which would allow the social media company to solicit additional bids after the deal is signed, but Musk has been resistant to the idea. Twitter would be permitted to take a different offer if they pay Musk a break-up fee, the sources said.
Reports of the deal nearing its end were followed by Twitter shares jumping 4.5 percent in pre-market trading on Monday, reaching $51.15 per share.
Over the weekend, Musk posted a cryptic tweet that said, “Moving on…,” prompting speculation that the billionaire had given up on negotiations with Twitter. Several hours later, however, Musk tweeted again, explaining that the tweet was about making fun of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
“(from making fun of Gates for shorting Tesla while claiming to support climate change action),” Musk tweeted.
Two weeks ago, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud said he would reject Musk’s $43 billion offer because it doesn’t “come close to the intrinsic value” of the social media company. Musk shot back at the Middle Eastern billionaire by questioning how he views freedom of speech.
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects,” Al Saud tweeted. “Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”
Musk replied, “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?”
In an SEC filing submitted April 13, Musk told Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor that he would “unlock” Twitter’s “extraordinary potential.” Musk also expressed a desire to take Twitter private.
“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,” Musk told Taylor. “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.”