Who wants to own Twitter? Maybe Elon Musk doesn’t. Sure, maybe he is causing chaos to extract a lower price from the Twitter board, but he just as well may walk away altogether and create a Twitter clone. There is a “60%+ chance from our view Musk ultimately walks from the deal and pays the breakup fee,” analyst Dan Ives said Tuesday.
But for now the board is trying to hold him to it. On Tuesday morning, hours after Musk tweeted that “this deal cannot move forward” until his purported spam bot concerns are cleared up, the company filed its proxy statement for Musk’s takeover and said it wants to close the deal “as promptly as practicable.”
The board, in other words, wants to rid itself of Twitter. I obtained a new statement from the board Tuesday night that read, “The Board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.” Key words: “Enforce the merger agreement.” Legal action seems likely.
But what if Musk pays to make this deal go away? What will become of the social network the media loves to hate? “Since it seems there’s a decent chance Elon pulls out of the Twitter deal, who else would be in line to buy up the pieces (at a much bigger discount)? My white knight guess is Microsoft,” Techdirt’s Mike Masnick wrote Tuesday. He said “I think that at the end of this process, it will be difficult for Twitter to remain an ongoing concern as its own entity” because “the board clearly has no clue what to do with it…”