Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk is locked in an ongoing battle with Twitter’s board as he pursues a hostile takeover.
On Thursday, the world’s richest man offered to buy Twitter for $43bn, filing a proposal with the US’s Securities regulator to pay investors $54.20 per share.
Intent on thwarting Musk’s takeover ambitions over concerns the bid devalues the company, Twitter’s board has proposed adopting a “limited-duration shareholder rights plan” to stop anyone from having more than a 15 per cent stake. The ploy, also known as a “poison pill,” is considered a final line of defence against a hostile takeover and allows investors to buy shares at a discount.
In a sign that tensions are running high, Musk yesterday took aim at members of the board tweeting: “board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds.”
Musk first signalled his interest in Twitter a fortnight ago when he told followers he had snapped up a 9.2 per cent stake in the company.
Members of Twitter’s board have raised objections to an outright takeover as they believe Musk’s current offer devalues the social networking site.
Twitter’s founder and former boss Jack Dorsey swooped to Musk’s defence accusing the company’s board of “consistently” being a source of “dysfunction” in a series of tweets.
In a sign that Musk is undeterred from his takeover ambitions the Tesla owner tweeted a cryptic reference to Elvis’ “Love me Tender” on Saturday, which may be a veiled hint that he intends to pursue a process known as a tender off. Such a move would allow Musk to bypass Twitter’s board and go straight to shareholders with his offer, provided he proves he is able to finance the bid.
Musk is reportedly eyeing up potential partners to join him in his bid to seize control of Twitter. Musk is mulling a partnership with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, sources told the New York Post.
Twitter shares have today climbed by four per cent.