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Elon Musk paralyzes the purchase of Twitter until he knows more details about the false profiles of the social network | Economy

An image shows the profile of billionaire Elon Musk on Twitter.
An image shows the profile of billionaire Elon Musk on Twitter.DADO RUVIC (REUTERS)

The sudden rectifications and changes of opinion that are known to him make the act of doing business with Elon Musk a complex task. And even more so in the case of a multimillion-dollar purchase like that of Twitter, an operation valued at 44,000 million dollars. The American company is checking it out first hand. The richest man in the world has surprised this Friday by announcing that the agreement for the acquisition is frozen. “Twitter deal temporarily suspended pending details supporting calculation that fake/spam accounts represent less than 5% of users,” he has written in a message posted on the same social network he claims to be from. owner.

The market reaction to those words has been immediate. Shares of Twitter plunged 20% before the opening of the session to 35.95 dollars, well below the 54.20 dollars per share that the tycoon offered for her.

Musk has used as an excuse to suspend his offer the company’s communication to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that it calculates that it has less than 5% of active false profiles or accounts.

The purchase was already considered almost certain. Musk often referred to his plans to overhaul the way the company works, including allowing former US President Donald Trump access to the social network again. The market, however, did not completely trust Musk and the shares were already trading clearly below the offer price before today’s announcement. If finally the false accounts are an obstacle for it, the valuations that are handled in the Stock Market would cease to make sense.

The spread now widened is a clear reflection that the distrust that the operation will go ahead is growing. Musk made the offer for him shortly before a slump in tech stocks and the Nasdaq began and likely above what would now be required to be paid to take over the company.

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Although Musk can also use the argument that not all the users that Twitter presumes in its figures are actually active and real accounts to try to lower the price to pay.

Given the high amount of investment to buy Twitter – even for the richest man in the world, 44,000 million is a substantial amount – Musk does not intend to carry out the purchase alone, so his final decision may affect other fortunes. . Musk communicated a few days ago to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC, for its acronym in English) of the United States a list of 19 investors who will participate in the purchase with him. It includes everything from tycoons like Larry Ellison to classics from the world of institutional investment, passing through the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, the Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud or the cryptocurrency platform Binance.

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