–Musk has tweeted again that his $44billion Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’
–He speculated bots could make up at least 50% of Twitter’s users
- –Analysts claim he is trying to lower the price or pull out of the deal completely
The Tesla CEO, who last month offered $44billion for the tech platform, disputes their claims that bots represent around five per cent of their users, believing the figures could be ‘much higher’ than 20 per cent.
The world’s richest man fired off a tweet this morning stating: ‘20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.
‘My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.’
In a follow-up tweet, Musk speculated that bots could make up at least half of Twitter’s users, more than 10 times the company’s official estimate.
The latest tweet directed at Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal comes amid a bitter public row between the pair after Musk tweeted a poop emoji at the tech boss yesterday.
Shares have also been plummeting ever since the takeover bid was announced, with pre-market trading at $35.87 today, far below the $54.20 price agreed by Musk.
Analysts had claimed his statements could be an attempt by Musk to try to lower the price or pull out of the deal.
But Twitter quashed that today by saying they had filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC saying they intend the deal to go ahead at the agreed price of $54.20.
The company submitted the document, which updates the SEC about important changes ahead of shareholder meetings, saying they were committed to completing the deal at the agreed price and terms ‘as promptly as practicable.’
One of those terms also includes a billion-dollar breakup clause for Musk if he chooses to walk away from the deal.
Last week, Musk claimed he wanted to pause the deal to verify that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of the company’s 229 million users during the first quarter.
The surprise tweet caused stocks to continue their nosedive since his deal was announced, as analysts speculated that Musk is trying to negotiate a lower price for the deal or pull out completely.
Though Twitter’s board agreed to the purchase last month, it still has not been approved by shareholders, and was not expected to close for at least several months. The legal and practical implications of Musk’s tweets remain unclear.
Shares closed Monday at $37.39, continuing the downward trend.
On Friday, they opened at $40.40, in a huge slump after Musk’s morning announcement that his deal was on hold pending the probe into bot accounts.
Speaking at the All-In Summit 2022 conference in Miami yesterday, Musk said: ‘You can’t pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed.’
Asked if the deal is viable at a different price, Musk said, ‘I mean, it is not out of the question. The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow.
‘They claim that they have got this complex methodology that only they can understand… It cannot be some deep mystery that is, like, more complex than the human soul or something like that.’
e asked rhetorically if the figure could be as high as 90 percent, according to a live-streamed video of his remarks posted by a Twitter user, and obtained by Bloomberg.
‘Currently what I’m being told is that there’s just no way to know the number of bots,’ Musk said at the conference.
‘It’s like, as unknowable as the human soul.’
Analysts questioned why Musk would suddenly express concern about Twitter’s estimate that 5 percent of accounts are fake, an estimate that the company has included in regulatory filings for years.
Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said on Friday: ‘This 5% metric has been out for some time. He clearly would have already seen it… So it may well be more part of the strategy to lower the price.
‘It’s going to be highly frustrating for many in the company given that a number of senior executives have already been laid off,’ she said.
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