after four months of twists and turns, look back at the saga of an aborted takeover

after four months of twists and turns, look back at the saga of an aborted takeover

Le Figaro looks back at the main dates of exchanges between the social network and the entrepreneur, from the surprise wedding to the separation announced a few hours ago.

The news fell suddenly: in a document sent to the American stock market authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elon Musk indicated that he would give up buying Twitter. This thunderclap is only the latest step in a procedure that has seen many twists and turns: Le Figaro looks back at the main dates of the relationship of love and hate between the businessman and the blue bird network.

SEE ALSO – Elon Musk ends Twitter buyout deal, legal battle looms

March: the rumor rises…

Followed by more than 100 million people, the entrepreneur often shares his ideas, humor, memes and projects on Twitter. Ardent defender of freedom of expression, Elon Musk believes that the platform does not sufficiently defend this fundamental principle of American democracy: on March 25, he questions his subscribers. Two million votes later, seven out of ten Internet users felt that Twitter did not buy “rigorouslyto this principle.

Criticism of Twitter’s failure to respect the right to free expression are recurrent, at Musk. Two days later, the businessman explains to an Internet user that he “think seriouslyto go further, by creating a new social network honoring this principle.

April: takeover announcement

On April 4, despite his repeated criticism of the platform, the publication of an SEC document reveals that Elon Musk has acquired a minority share of Twitter, buying some 9.2% of the shares for 2, $5 billion. At the time, his stake was described as passive, implying that the businessman had no intention of participating in the group’s strategic decisions.

The next day, Twitter announces appointing the entrepreneur to its board of directors. “He’s both a passionate and fierce critic of the service, which is exactly what we need on Twitter and on the board to make us stronger for the long haul.», then comment the boss of the company, Parag Agrawal. On April 11, a new reversal of the situation: Musk, who had undertaken not to increase his stake beyond 14.9% for two years in exchange for his chair at the boardresigns from his position on the Board of Directors.

And, three days later, Musk goes (much) further: freed from his constraint on his participation, the founder of SpaceX offers to buy the social network and take it out of the Stock Exchange, for 43 billion dollars. Or $54.20 per share. At the end of the month, after resisting for a while, the social network’s board of directors hits with the entrepreneur, and validates his offer, which represents a “38% bonus to Twitter’s April 1, 2022 closing price“. At the time, all parties were delighted with this decision: “I want to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has huge potential – I can’t wait to […] unlock it“says the new owner of the network.

May: controversy over the proportion of fake accounts

At the beginning of the month, Twitter estimates, in an audit, that the proportion of fake accounts or spam represents at most 5% of all daily active users, in the first quarter of 2022. Two weeks later, another twist in a case that was already not lacking: doubtful about the figure communicated by the social network, Elon Musk announced to suspend “temporarily» the repurchase agreement, pending details of the calculation method used during the audit. While saying “always determinedto buy the business.

Over the month, the tone gradually rises between the two groups and the boss of Tesla sticks to his position: the takeover will not take place until he has obtained guarantees on the proportion of false accounts and spam on the platform. Moreover, he advances a proportion of “20%”, implying that it could be much higher in reality. The company, for its part, intends that the agreement be completed, at the agreed price and defends its method of calculation. But the explanations do not convince Elon Musk, who simply answers by excrement emoji. Vibe.

June: the rag burns

The disagreement over fake accounts and spam pollutes exchanges between the two parties: at the beginning of June, Elon Musk indicates that the company “actively resistto his requests for information on this file and brandished the threat to withdraw from the takeover agreement. Shortly after, the American press indicated that the social network gave in to the entrepreneur’s demands and would provide him with enormous “data streamsto address his concerns.

Throughout the month, the businessman remains evasive about his plans, including with the employees of the company, whom he meets for the first time in mid-June. Recounting the exchanges to the American press, employees are particularly concerned about the political positions of the future owner, his ardent defense of freedom of expression and his statements on moderation and teleworking.

July: Musk backtracks

In July, the South African entrepreneur continues to suspect the platform of underestimating the share of fake accounts. And, in a letter dated 8 published by the SEC, Elon Musk’s lawyers announce their intention to terminate the takeover agreement. “Twitter has not provided information requested by Mr Musk for almost two months, despite its detailed and repeated clarificationsaimed at speeding up the process, they say. Believing that the social network “violated» the takeover agreement by not communicating sufficiently clear and precise data on the number of fake accounts that dot the platform, the businessman therefore prefers «terminate the repurchase agreement and abandon the contemplated transaction“.

The case is not over, however, as the social network said it intended to fight the decision. “Twitter’s Board of Directors […] plans to take legal action to enforce merger agreement“, warned the chairman of the board, Bret Taylor. Until forcing the businessman to buy the company he no longer wants? Case to follow.

SEE ALSO – Withdrawal of Elon Musk: a “nightmare scenario” for Twitter, according to an expert