Business magnate, Elon Musk is continuing his bid to buy the social media platform, Twitter, in spite of the resistance put up by the company’s board.
Musk has gone ahead to present its financing plans to the United States’ Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a new SEC filing on Thursday, he said he would finance the $43 billion offer for Twitter through a combination of Morgan Stanley debt and equity financing he would contribute himself.
In all, Musk says, he has lined up $46.5 billion, giving himself a little cushion to work with.
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By adopting a poison pill defense last Friday, Twitter’s board has signaled it is not much interested in Musk’s proposal. However, analysts are of the view that the decision to sell or not is up to the company’s investors.
What they are saying
Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director and CEO of consultancy Anchor Change, says: “What Musk seemingly fails to recognise is that to truly have free speech today, you need moderation. Otherwise, just those who bully and harass will be left as they will drive others away.”
She added that content moderation and responsible platform design done right can actually allow for more speech.
Jack Dorsey, a former Twitter CEO, who co-founded the social media company 16 years ago, said in a tweet about Musk’s potential takeover bid: “I don’t believe any individual or institutions should own social media, or more generally media companies. It should be an open and verifiable protocol. Everything is a step toward that.”
What you should know
Explaining his interest in Twitter, Musk has said his vision for the social media platform is a public town square where there are few restrictions on what people can or can’t say on the Internet.
While noting that free speech is essential to democracy, Musk had gone ahead with a Twitter poll asking the question: “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
The poll which recorded over two million votes had 70.4% of the respondents saying ‘No’, while 29.6% affirmed that Twitter adheres to free speech.
According to Forbes, Twitter stock rose only 0.4% on Thursday to $47.08 a share, considerably less than Musk’s $54.20-a-share offer. The stock has risen since Musk went public with the takeover a week ago, but there has remained a gap between the current share price and Musk’s offer price, a blinking warning light that investors may not be confident he will pull it off.