Will Twitter's board swing Elon’s way? Analysts think not.
After playing nice for a few days after shoring up a majority stake in Twitter, Elon Musk has dropped the biggest decision hurdle for the company's board of directors, which is to accept or deny his $43 billion offer and take the company private.
Musk's love for the platform, where he spends most of his time anyway, is well known. However, after buying up a stake in his passion, Musk has mixed up business with it and what you see is a hodge-podge of his vision where he wants Twitter to be self-reliant for revenues, carry out societal responsibilities, and have no limits on free speech. Interestingly, Musk sees all three happening but only when the publicly-traded company becomes his own fiefdom.
What does Musk want from Twitter?
As Musk declared in his letter to Twitter Chairman, Bret Taylor, his offer consists of a 54 percent premium over the price, when Musk first started buying the company's stock and should make its shareholders happy.
While Musk has been bubbling with ideas of what needs to change at Twitter, he hasn't laid out a master plan, at least publicly, for the overhaul he envisions. What we know is that he wants the platform to cut down on the moderation policies, and even give them an option to edit what they have said.
This can be quite tricky when a lot of Twitter users have complained that the platform allows hatred and misinformation to spread easily. With Musk in charge, Twitter will end up in a diametrically opposite direction, where it is now and possibly with higher toxicity levels.
Musk also wants the acceptance of Dogecoin for subscription payments, something that we have seen him do for certain merchandise at Tesla, and has other "significant improvements" on his mind.
Can the Twitter board say no? What happens if they do?
While shareholders might seem to be happy getting premiums on the stock price, analysts told CNBC that Musk's offer is actually lower than the $70-a-share high that Twitter stock saw just a couple of months ago.
The Board of Directors, which currently includes Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has a responsibility to ensure that the shareholders are protected in this transaction and might end up rejecting the offer, even though Musk has said that he is not going to revise his bid.
This is also the sentiment of one of the other investors in the social media company. Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal rejected Musk's offer, revealing his thoughts through a tweet.
I don't believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) April 14, 2022
Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.https://t.co/Jty05oJUTk pic.twitter.com/XpNHUAL6UX
Considering Musk's veiled threat of not remaining a shareholder, if his offer is rejected, analysts predict that the Twitter stock is likely to take a tumble unless the Board rapidly manages to bring in another investor to pick up Elon's stake swiftly.
The other factor that the Board needs to consider is whether it can hand over the reins of the company to a character like Musk, who could work wonders or simply crash the company with his spur-of-the-moment decisions, like the one not to join the board.
Just last night, Musk posted another poll on Twitter, in what can only be seen as a means of inciting Twitter shareholders against the Board.
Taking Twitter private at $54.20 should be up to shareholders, not the board— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
For someone who is on the Board of multiple of his own companies, Musk is well aware of how these decisions are taken. If the Board rejects Musk's offer, they also need to brace themselves for his 'Plan B', which will unfold only after the decision is taken.
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