Free speech is heading back to Twitter.
The platform is said to be prepared to accept Elon Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share today if negotiations go smoothly, Bloomberg News reported.
Twitter Inc. is in the final stretch of negotiations about a $43 billion sale to Elon Musk that could rank as one of the biggest-ever leveraged buyouts of a listed company, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The social media company is working to hammer out terms of a transaction and could reach an agreement as soon as Monday if negotiations go smoothly, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Musk is lining up partners for the acquisition and continues to speak to potential co-investors, one of the people said.
Discussions between the billionaire Tesla Inc. founder and Twitter’s board about a takeover at $54.20 per share continued overnight into the early hours of Monday, the people said. Shares of Twitter jumped as much as 6.2% in pre-market U.S. trading Monday, hitting as high as $51.98.
Twitter began to strongly consider taking the deal when Musk revealed his financial plan for the takeover that included financial backing from Morgan Stanley.
Talks are sensitive and a deal could be reached Monday, drag on longer or fall apart, the report said.
In previous comments Twitter said that its board was “continuing to conduct a careful, comprehensive and deliberate review to determine the course of action in the best interest of the company and all Twitter stockholders.”
The board apparently wants to know if there are any investigations into Musk by a regulatory board like the SEC that could cause the deal to fall through or if there would be a break-up fee for Twitter.
Musk made the offer around two weeks ago and in a letter to Twitter Musk said that he believes the company “will neither thrive nor serve [its free speech] societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
“If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” he said.
When Musk declined a position of Twitter’s board of directors it was speculated that decision not to take the job means he is now free to improve his position within the company, as in, buy more stock.
Musk did not sign an agreement with Twitter to join the board of directors because it had the following terms as long as he serves on the board: “Mr. Musk agrees that, for so long as Mr. Musk is serving on the Board and for 90 days thereafter, Mr. Musk will not, either alone or as a member of a group, become the beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of Company’s common stock outstanding at such time, including for these purposes economic exposure through derivative securities, swaps or hedging transactions.”
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal noted in a statement that it was Musk’s decision to not join the company’s board after he was offered a seat.
“Elon Musk has decided not to join our board,” Agrawal said. “The Board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly. We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward. The board offered him a seat.”