Reports: Twitter in talks with Musk over bid-to-buy platform

Twitter’s board of directors is negotiating with CEO Elon Musk over its bid to buy the social media platform, and a deal could be announced as early as Monday, according to media reports.

Twitter and Musk negotiated his bid to buy the social media platform into the early hours of Monday morning, the New York Times reported, less than two weeks after the billionaire first announced a massive stake.

Musk said last week that he had provided $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter and put pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal.

The Times, citing people with knowledge of the situation who it did not identify, said the two sides discussed details, including a timeline and fees, if an agreement was signed and then fell apart. People said the situation was fluid and fast-paced.

Ahead of Monday’s opening bell, shares of Twitter Inc. were up 5%.

Twitter had issued an anti-takeover measure known as the poison pill that could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive. But the board decided to negotiate after Musk updated his proposal to show he had secured the funding, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was first to report that negotiations were underway.

Also, one of Musk’s rival bidders may not be moving up any time soon, fearing the Byzantine task of moderating content on the platform, something Musk has vowed to do less of.

“The Twitter board couldn’t find a white knight, and with Musk’s detailed funding, the clock has essentially struck midnight for the board, which is why negotiations have begun to reach an agreement,” said Dan Ives, Twitter correspondent for Wedbush Securities follows.

On April 14, Musk announced an offer to buy the social media platform for $54.20 per share, or about $43 billion, but didn’t say at the time how he would fund the acquisition.

Last week, in documents filed with US securities regulators, he said the money would come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, some of it backed by his huge stake in the electric carmaker.

Twitter has not commented.

Musk has said he wants to buy Twitter because he feels it’s not fulfilling its potential as a free speech platform.

In recent weeks, he has floated a range of proposed changes for the company, from relaxing its content restrictions — like the rules that banned former President Donald Trump’s account — to removing the platform’s problems with fake and automated accounts.

According to Forbes, Musk is the richest person in the world with a fortune of almost $279 billion. But much of his money is tied up in Tesla stock — he owns about 17% of the company, which is valued at more than $1 trillion, according to FactSet — and SpaceX, his private space company. It’s unclear how much cash Musk has. Reports: Twitter in talks with Musk over bid-to-buy platform

Joel McCord

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