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Twitter Takeover: A Timeline for Elon Musk’s bumpy road

Even by the standards of Twitter, a company that has experienced a lot of chaos and dysfunction in its history, the week-long effort of billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company has proven to be uniquely turbulent – and there is no clear end in sight.

After Musk recently said he was temporarily halting the deal so he could assess the amount of spam and fake accounts, it led to speculation that the billionaire might be looking to renegotiate the deal – or withdraw from it altogether. His actions in the days that followed only reinforced that mindset.

Here is a look back at the many twists and turns in one of the most high-profile technology agreements in recent times.

January 31[ads1]: Musk begins to build up its Twitter share

Musk is quietly starting to buy up Twitter shares, and is building up its stake in the company. But it would take months before he revealed this fact to the public.

March 14: Musk’s Twitter share tops 5%

Musk’s stake in Twitter peaks at 5%, but that fact will not be revealed until the following month. Musk was required to disclose its stake within 10 days of crossing the 5% threshold, but waited 21 days to do so. During that time, he continued to build up his staff.

March 24: Ask if Twitter should change

The billionaire is starting to make sharp statements about the platform from his account. “The Twitter algorithm should be open source,” he said wrotewith a poll where users can vote “yes” or “no”.
The next day, Musk tweets issued another poll to his followers: “Freedom of speech is essential for a functioning democracy. Do you think Twitter follows this principle strictly?”
A sign has been hung outside the Twitter headquarters on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

March 26: Musk addresses Jack Dorsey

Musk is addressing Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey to “discuss the future direction of social media,” according to a company file later released by the company. The two technology founders are known for having a bit of a billionaire romance on and off Twitter.

April 3: Twitter management meets to discuss Musk

Twitter’s board and some of its management team are meeting with representatives from Wilson Sonsini, a law firm, and JP Morgan to discuss the possibility of Musk joining the company’s board, according to a later securities file. Dorsey is said to have told the board that “he and Mr. Musk were friends”, according to the archive.

At the meeting, the Twitter board discussed wanting Musk to agree to “standstill” provisions, “according to the submission. This would effectively” limit his public statements regarding Twitter, including making unwanted public proposals to buy Twitter (but not private ones). proposal) without the prior consent of the Twitter Board. “

April 4: Surprise! Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder

Musk has been revealed to be Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, with a stake of over 9 percent in the company.

The news of the acquisition sends shares in the social media company to rise more than 20% in early trading and launches a wave of speculation about how Musk can push for changes on the platform.

April 5: Musk agrees to join the board

Twitter boss Parag Agrawal announces that Musk will join Twitter’s board. “Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he wanted to add great value to the board,” Agrawal sier in a post on Twitter.
As part of the appointment, Musk agrees not to buy more than 14.9% of the company’s shares while sitting on the board. His term on the board is set to go through 2024, according to a regulatory file.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (left) and former CEO Jack Dorsey in an undated photo.

April 10: Just kidding. Musk ditches the board

Agrawal announces that Musk has decided not to join the board anyway. “I think this is for the best,” Agrawal writes in one letter to the Twitter team.

The reversal allows Musk to pursue a larger stake in the company – and frees him to tweet his many thoughts about the company.

April 14: Musk offers to buy Twitter and “unlock” the potential

Musk overwhelms the industry make an offer to acquire all the shares in Twitter he does not own worth $ 41.4 billion. The cash offer represents a premium of 38% over the company’s closing price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk revealed that he had become the company’s largest shareholder.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for freedom of expression worldwide, and I believe freedom of expression is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy. But since I made my investment, I now realize that the company will not thrive either. “serve this social imperative in its current form. Twitter must be transformed as a private company,” Musk wrote in his offer letter. “Twitter has an extraordinary potential. I want to unlock it. “

April 15: The poison pill

Twitter’s board adopts a “poison pill” provision, a limited shareholder rights plan that potentially makes it harder for Musk to buy the company.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the official opening of the new Tesla electric car production facility on March 22, 2022 near Gruenheide, Germany.

April 21: Musk raises $ 46.5 billion in funding

Musk is raising $ 46.5 billion in financing for the deal, including two promissory notes from Morgan Stanley and other unnamed financial institutions and one equity note from him, according to a regulatory filing.

The billionaire also reveals that he has not received a formal response from Twitter a week after the takeover bid. He said he was “seeking to negotiate” a specific acquisition agreement and “is prepared to start such negotiations immediately” – an apparent reversal of his statement in the takeover bid letter that it would be his “best and final” offer.

Although he is the richest person in the world, much of Musk’s fortune is tied up in Tesla shares, and some followers of the company speculate that it may be challenging for Musk to raise debt against the historically volatile stock.

April 25: Twitter agrees to sell itself to Elon Musk

Twitter announces that they have agreed to sell themselves to Musk in a deal worth around 44 billion dollars. At a conference later in the day, Musk describes his offer to buy Twitter in characteristic sweeping terms as being about “the future of civilization”, not just making money.
At a meeting with all hands that afternoon, Twitter employees raise questions about everything from what the agreement will mean for their compensation to whether former US President Donald Trump would be released on the platform.

April 29: Musk takes out billions of Tesla shares

Submissions reveal that Musk sold $ 8.5 billion of his Tesla share in the three days after the Twitter board agreed to the sale for an average of $ 883.09 per share. The registrations did not reveal the reason for the sale, but Musk seemed to be raising money to buy Twitter.
Tesla cars stand at a dealership on March 28, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.

May 4: With a little help from the billionaire friends

Musk is raising another $ 7 billion in funding for the deal. The new investors include Oracle founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency platform Binance and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, according to a file.

May 6: Musk’s high goal for Twitter, revealed

Musk aims to increase Twitter’s annual revenue to $ 26.4 billion by 2028, up from $ 5 billion last year, according to a New York Times report citing Musk’s pitch deck presented to investors. To achieve the high goal, Musk intends to strengthen Twitter’s subscription revenues and build a payment business while reducing the company’s dependence on advertising sales, according to the report.

May 10: Musk says he wants to reinstate Trump’s account

Musk confirms what many have been speculating for several weeks: he would reverse Twitter’s Trump ban if his deal to buy the company is fulfilled.

“I do not think it was right to ban Donald Trump, I think it was a mistake,” Musk said. “I wanted to reverse the perma ban … Banning Trump from Twitter did not end Trump’s vote, it will reinforce it on the right, and this is why it is morally wrong and simply stupid.”

Former President Donald Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable discussion with governors about the reopening of US small businesses, in the State Dining Room in the White House in Washington, June 18, 2020.

May 12: Partial layoffs and resignations

Twitter confirms to CNN Business that the platform stops most hiring and replenishment, except for “business-critical” roles, and withdraws on other non-labor costs prior to the acquisition. In addition, Twitter says that the general manager for consumer, Kayvon Beykpour, and revenue product manager, Bruce Falck, are leaving the company.

May 13: Twitter agreement «temporarily on hold»

Musk tweets that the deal is on hold, links to a Reuters report from almost two weeks earlier, about Twitter’s latest revelation about the amount of spam and fake accounts. However, the figure quoted in the report is in line with previous quarterly revelations.

“Twitter agreement temporarily pending pending details that support calculations that spam / fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted.

Shares on the social media side plummeted after Musk’s announcement, falling more than 10% at the opening of the market. Two hours after announcing the blockade, Musk says he is still willing to buy Twitter. “Still committed to acquisitions,” he said wrote.

Later in the day, Musk says his team is testing Twitter’s numbers and “picked 100 as a sample size number, because that’s what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake / spam / duplicates."

May 14: Oops. NDA problems?

Musk tweets that Twitter’s legal team accused him of violating a confidentiality agreement when the billionaire revealed that the platform’s sample size for automated user checks is reportedly only 100 users.

“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing that the sample size for the bot check is 100! This actually happened,” wrote Musk.

May 16: Basj-emoji

The battle for fines continues as Musk exchanges a series of tweets with Agrawal about the issue. After Agrawal explains carefully how Twitter is trying to combat and measure spam accounts, Musk answers with a poop emoji.

Musk follows up with a somewhat more thoughtful question. “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money?” Musk asked. “This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” he added.

May 17: Musk says Twitter agreement “can not go ahead”

Musk announces that his acquisition of Twitter “can not go ahead” until he sees more information about the prevalence of spam accounts, and claims that the social media platform falsified numbers in registrations. Without quoting a source, he claims in one chirping that Twitter is “20% fake / spam accounts” and suggests that Twitter’s previous registrations to the SEC were misleading.

In a statement, Twitter said they remain “committed to completing the transaction at the agreed price and terms as soon as practicable.”

CNN’s Clare Duffy, Chris Isidore, Brian Fung, Rishi Iyengar and Allison Morrow contributed to this report.

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