Elon Musk is planning to buy Twitter with his original offer – and he has hinted at his social media plans.
After months of legal battles, the world’s richest man has proposed buying the platform at $54.20 a share, valued at $44 billion (£38.4 billion).
After news of the deal’s resumption broke, Musk said that “buying Twitter is an accelerator to create X, the app for everything.”
Buying the platform brings his Project X forward by three to five years, “but I could be wrong,” he said. He did not provide further details.
The idea behind X is a super app that combines messaging, social media, payments – and doesn’t rely on ad revenue, similar to China’s WeChat. It already has more than 1 billion users, but so far, there are no similar users in the West.
Earlier, trading in Twitter shares was suspended amid reports of a surge in shares after trading resumed. The stock was up nearly 13% at $47.93 before trading was suspended.
Musk disclosed in a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he offered to stick with the original deal in a letter to Twitter.
The filing says he will close the deal as long as he obtains the required debt financing, and offers the Delaware Chancery Court, which he will appear in less than two weeks, to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Twitter.
In a letter from Musk’s lawyers, he said: “The Musk parties intend to proceed with closing the transaction … and suspend the trial and all other proceedings.”
Twitter and Mr. Musk A court appearance was due later this month as the social media giant tried to get Musk to accept his original offer he made in April.
Dan Ives, an analyst at investment firm Wedbush, said: “This is a clear sign that Musk recognizes that the odds of going to Delaware court are slim, and this $44 billion deal will be done in some way.” .
Elon Musk, chief executive of electric car company Tesla, had wanted to back out of the deal because of the number of bot accounts on the platform.
He said that was higher than Twitter’s estimated 5 percent of users, and claimed in July it meant he could back out of the deal.
Bots are automated accounts whose presence can lead to an overestimation of how many people use the site. Knowing the number of real users is important for ad sales and the overall value of the platform.
The acquisition was approved by Twitter shareholders last month.
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Tesla shares had traded more than $16 billion as of noon in New York on Tuesday, sending the stock tumbling and rebounding in afternoon trading.
Mr. Musk’s proposal could end months of tumultuous lawsuits that are set to face off in Delaware on Oct. 17.
The legal battle involving senior Twitter executives and the revelation of Mr. Musk’s text messages have damaged Twitter’s reputation and company morale.
“I’m sitting on a company-wide strategic readout for 2023, and I think we’re going to collectively ignore what’s going on,” Rumman Chowdhury, Twitter’s head of machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability, said on the platform on Tuesday.
Musk has sparked controversy on Twitter in the past, such as proposing a “peace plan” for Ukraine’s war with Russia, which was quickly condemned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mr Musk also said he would overturn a ban on the site by former US President Donald Trump.
According to text messages exposed during the lawsuit, Musk plans to change the platform to fight spam by verifying accounts, hosting remittances, and wants to create Twitter feeds instead of relying on ads.
In response to Mr. Musk’s letter, Twitter said: “We have received communications from Musk with the SEC from various parties. The company intends to complete the transaction at $54.20 per share.”
But Musk’s troubles aren’t over. He must now raise the funds needed to buy Twitter.
Tesla stock has been under pressure as investors worry he may sell shares to fund a Twitter acquisition.