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Twitter reportedly in talks with Elon Musk over bid to buy platform for billions

Social media giant and Tesla CEO discussing details including timeline if deal falls through, NYT reports; Musk claims to have $46.5 billion in financing to make purchase

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on December 1, 2020. (Hannibal Hanschke/ Pool Photo via AP/ File)
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on December 1, 2020. (Hannibal Hanschke/ Pool Photo via AP/ File)

Twitter’s board and Tesla CEO Elon Musk negotiated into the early hours of Monday over his bid to buy the social media platform, The New York Times reported.

Musk said last week that he had lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal.

The Times, citing people with knowledge of the situation whom it did not identify, said the two sides were discussing details, including a timeline and fees if an agreement was signed and then fell apart. The people said the situation was fluid and fast-moving.

Twitter had enacted an anti-takeover measure known as a poison pill that could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive. But the board decided to negotiate after Musk updated his proposal to show he had secured financing, according to The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the negotiations were underway.

On April 14, Musk announced an offer to buy the social media platform for $54.20 per share, or about $43 billion, but did not say at the time how he would finance the acquisition.

Last week, he said in documents filed with US securities regulators that the money would come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, some of it secured by his huge stake in the electric car maker.

Twitter has not commented.

Musk has said he wants to buy Twitter because he believes it is not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.

In recent weeks, he has voiced a number of proposed changes for the company, from relaxing its content restrictions — such as the rules that suspended former President Donald Trump’s account — to ridding the platform of its problems with fake and automated accounts.

Musk is the world’s wealthiest person, according to Forbes, with a nearly $279 billion fortune. But much of his money is tied up in Tesla stock — he owns about 17 percent of the company, according to FactSet, which is valued at more than $1 trillion — and SpaceX, his privately held space company. It is unclear how much cash Musk has.

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