American entrepreneur Elon Musk sent a letter to Twitter saying he was once again willing to buy the social network for the same money he offered last April, before he suddenly pulled out of the deal. After Musk had changed his mind, Twitter had decided to sue him, and in about two weeks a trial would have to be held to determine whether the entrepreneur could get out of the contract (perhaps paying a penalty) or if instead he would be forced to ‘ purchase. It is not yet clear what will become of the process if the deal were to be concluded according to the initial agreements, but it is possible that in that case it will not even take place.
This is rather surprising news, after months of Musk clashing with Twitter in various ways, widely criticizing the management of the company and the functioning of the social network. On several occasions he had made the value of the company’s shares rise and fall significantly with his contradictory announcements, which initially seemed very convinced towards the acquisition and then had instead become very opposed, with unclear reasons.
The modalities of Musk’s new engagement, with the sending of a letter from his lawyers, make the operation seem reliable, but the newspapers are understandably presenting it with some caution, given that Musk has already changed his mind about this story. several times. According to some commentators, it could also be Musk’s strategy to delay the process and buy time: a source of the Financial Times close to Twitter argues that this is a concern of the company itself, which instead intends to close the deal.
The dispatch of the letter was revealed by Bloomberg, but the news was later confirmed by a Twitter spokesperson through a statement acknowledging the receipt of the letter and its contents. The statement also confirms that in the letter Musk offered $ 54.20 per share, which is the same total value of $ 44 billion (roughly the same amount in euros) that he had proposed last April.
After Musk’s announcement, the value of Twitter’s shares rose by more than 20 percent, to $ 52: still less than the assumed price for the acquisition, testifying to investors’ doubts about Musk’s reliability in leading to end the agreement.
Since it became public, Musk’s intention to buy Twitter had been widely discussed due to the possible consequences it could have if it were realized: especially from the point of view of freedom of expression and coexistence between users in one of the social networks. most popular in the world. Musk had spoken explicitly about the need to make content moderation rules less stringent – which Twitter has tightened up especially in recent years – and she had complained a lot about the social network’s ability to verify user identities and eliminate bots.
In April, he first bought 10 percent of the company’s shares and became one of its largest shareholders, then he expressed a willingness to buy it all. Initially, the board of directors had tried to obstruct the acquisition by Musk, but then accepted the offer, which was still considered very advantageous because it revalued the company significantly upwards.
In the following weeks the operation had suffered several slowdowns, especially due to the repeated threats by Musk to give up the purchase if Twitter did not clarify the number of fake accounts. The company said it could not hand over account data to Musk because that would have involved sharing users’ personal data to someone outside of Twitter (i.e. Musk).
However, the controversy over fake accounts seemed like just Musk’s pretext to try to get out of the deal without consequences, which included a billion-dollar penalty. In July Musk announced his formal decision to forgo the purchase.
Many commentators had said that Musk had actually changed his mind after deciding to buy some impulse, and that he probably considered the operation no longer sustainable due to the fact that the financial market was suffering a big decline, which they had suffered. especially the technological lists: Twitter had begun to gradually lose value and Musk’s offer, initially considered only generous, had become disproportionate.
Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk in July, and a Delaware court approved a quick trial, to be held in five days, starting October 17. However, Twitter’s position in view of the trial seemed more solid, given Musk’s spurious motivations: perhaps this too could have influenced his recent change of opinion.