Elon Musk sends mixed signals about his plan to take over Twitter: two hours after saying he suspended the acquisition pending details on the number of fake accounts, the bizarre boss confirmed Friday morning that he was “committed still “in carrying out the completion of the transaction.
“Twitter’s acquisition is temporarily on hold pending details that junk accounts and fake accounts represent less than 5% of the user base,” Musk first wrote. on the platformwhere he has nearly 93 million subscribers.
He then reiterated his promise to take over the social network, but the market questioned his true intentions.
The deal is temporarily on hold on Twitter pending details that support the calculation that spam/fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of usershttps: //t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
His statements had a strong impact on the stock market, where the action fell slowly, before limiting its losses by eventually abandoning to less than 10% on Wall Street.
Contacted the AFP, Twitter did not react immediately.
After initial objections to it, the social network’s board of directors accepted a $ 44 billion buyout offer from the whimsical South African -born billionaire at the end of April. Mr. promised. Musk will remove Twitter’s junk messages, to authenticate users and increase social network transparency – without even specifying how he intends to implement this project.
During the presentation of its quarterly results in early May, the company indicated that it had an average of 229 million daily users who were profitable, i.e., exposed to advertising, from January to March. He estimated this time that less than 5% of them were trash accounts or fake accounts.
The proportion of fake accounts is “a key indicator” for Twitter, explains Susannah Streeter, market analyst for Hargreaves Lansdown, because “it calculates the specific number of people who tweet really considered important to future revenue streams through advertising or paid subscriptions to the site ”.
Along with the fight against spam, Musk said he wanted to make Twitter a bastion of free speech and he was ready to bring back former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose account has been permanently suspended. after the attack on the Capitol in January 2021.
Eligible on a Friday the 13th
Since the boss takeover bid of Tesla and SpaceX, Twitter’s market value has fallen by billions of dollars, following the same downward movement as most technology stocks and the stock market as a whole. The stock traded at $ 40.69 at the close of the market on Friday, lower than the billionaire’s suggested purchase price of $ 54.20 per share.
The latter tweet by Elon Musk “will make the circus that took over Twitter a horror movie worthy of Friday the 13th”, believes Dan Ives, of Wedbush Securities. “Wall Street will now estimate 1) that the deal is imminent; 2) that this was an attempt by Musk to negotiate a lower purchase price; or 3) Musk just wants to get away from the deal with $ 1 billion in severance payments, ”the analyst said in a note.
However, the leader sought to secure the financing of the operation by planning to seek help with a large personal contribution and request a bank loan, as well as a margin loan on which he would pledge his Tesla shares as complementary security. .
Earlier this month, Mr Musk claimed to have just raised more than $ 7 billion from various investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi prince and businessman Al-Walid bin Talal.
“While we did not doubt Musk’s ability to complete the transaction from a financial standpoint, we felt that the biggest risk was that Elon himself could change his mind.” Angelo Zino, from CFRA.
Dan Ives said the dealer overestimated the strength of his shares in Tesla, whose price has fallen sharply since the announcement of the Twitter takeover, and may seek to protect the electric vehicle maker. “The fact that Musk creates such uncertainty in a tweet (and not a stock market document) is very disturbing for us and for Wall Street ”and raises“ many questions, but no concrete answers as to whether the transaction will take place ”, the analyst underlined.