Elon Musk and Twitter deal

Bids, bots and poison pills: a timeline of Elon Musk’s chaotic attempt to buy Twitter

Whether you follow the news closely or not, you’d have been hard-pressed not to catch wind of Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter. Here, we’ll give you the inside scoop on months of money, mayhem and straight-up ‘you Musk be joking!?’ moments. 😉

Late January 2022: Musk’s first sniff
Elon Musk – the world’s richest man with a net worth of about $250 billion – begins investing in social media giant Twitter.

14th March 2022: High stakes
Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder, with a 9.2% stake in the company.

4th April 2022: Surging shares

Musk publicly discloses his stake in Twitter, which was worth a tidy $2.89 billion. However, Twitter shares surge more than 27%(!) on the announcement. 

Doing some quick maths, that would’ve made his stake worth, erm…a lot!

5th April 2022: Welcome Elon!
Twitter announces Musk will join the company's board of directors.

Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, tweets (natch): "He's both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!”

Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, tweets to welcome Elon Musk aboard

10th April 2022: Musk Ado About Nothing
Musk says he will not join the Twitter board after all. 🤷

"There will be distractions ahead but our goals and priorities remain unchanged," Agrawal says in a statement. "The decisions we make and how we make them remain in our hands, no one else's."

14th April 2022: “I made an offer”
Curveball! Musk now offers to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share, valuing the company at about $43 billion. The offer price is 38% higher than the value of Twitter shares a day before Musk's investment became public.

"I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy," says Musk. "Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company."

15th April 2022: Poison pills
Twitter adopts a ‘poison pill’ provision to stop Musk’s takeover bid. The company says the poison pill will be triggered if any individual or entity acquires at least 15% of the company's shares.

A ‘poison pill’ in the Musk/ Twitter deal
🤓 Nerd moment – A ‘poison pill’ is a tactic used by businesses to prevent hostile takeovers. It allows a company’s existing shareholders to purchase extra shares at a cheaper price. In Twitter’s case, this would’ve reduced the value of Elon Musk’s existing shares and made it more expensive for him to buy the company.
Green ornament

21st April 2022: Ferocious financing
Musk says that he’s received commitments for $46.5 billion in financing for his Twitter purchase. 

25th April 2022: Twitter says “yes”
Twitter accepts Musk's offer and values the deal at $44 billion.

29th April 2022: Twit twit hooray
After three days of negotiations, Musk and Twitter reach a deal, and he sells about $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock to help finance the bid.

4th May 2022: Mustering (Musk-ering?) moolah
Musk secures more than $7 billion in financing for the deal, from the likes of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

6th May 2022: A punchy pitch
In a pitch deck for investors, Musk says he will quintuple (five times for anyone wondering) Twitter's revenue by 2028, increasing annual earnings to $26.4 billion.

Guess you don’t become the world’s richest man without aiming big! 🤣

10th May 2022: Trump-Twitter reunion?

Musk says he would reverse Twitter's ban of former President Donald Trump’s account, which nobody outside the MAGA brigade was thrilled about. 😦

13th May 2022: Fakes put brakes on deal
Musk tweets that the Twitter deal is "temporarily on hold". Sceptical about a report where Twitter said fake accounts made up less than 5% of users on the platform, he states he wants "details supporting that calculation."

Musk quickly clarifies that he's "still committed" to the deal.
Analysts suggest Musk’s concern over fake accounts could just be bluster; an excuse to bargain for a lower purchase price or chuck it in altogether.

26th May 2022: Bitter Twitter
Twitter shareholders bring a lawsuit against Musk for alleged stock manipulation tied to the chaotic acquisition process. At the time, Twitter's stock had dropped more than 12% since Musk announced his bid.

6th June 2022: Feisty threats

Musk threatens to pull out of the deal if Twitter doesn't provide additional information about the number of bots on its platform. In a statement, Twitter says it’s been sharing information with Musk "in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement."

8th July 2022: Battle stations
Musk moves to terminate his Twitter bid, pointing to the issue of fake accounts. Twitter’s attorney rejects Musk's effort.

12th July 2022: Twitter flips Musk the bird
Twitter sues Musk in Chancery Court in Delaware to force him to complete the deal! 🤯

The company pulls no punches: “Musk refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.

Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.” 😬 Yikes! 

30th July 2022: Counter-attack
Musk countersues Twitter, just hours after chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery ordered a five-day trial starting on 17th October to decide if Musk can walk away from the deal.

4th October 2022: Musk pulls a U-ie
Musk makes a dramatic U-turn and offers to complete the proposed $44 billion deal, at the original price of $54.20 a share. Twitter shares surge 22% on the news! 

6th October 2022: Trial, or error?
Judge Kathaleen McCormick says the trial will still go ahead on 17th October because neither side has asked for a postponement yet. 🤷

So there you have it folks. A story with more twists and turns than a cheap garden hose. And it’s not over yet!

P.S. News is breaking all the time rn. This story was last updated on 6/10/22.

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