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Does Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover offer stand a chance?

April 14, 2022, 1:11 PM UTC

Ten days after taking a “passive” 9.2% stake in Twitter, Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid for the social media. Now the question is: Will it actually happen?

Musk offered $54.20 per share, an 18% premium on the stock’s closing price Wednesday. And he declared that his “best and final offer.”

Twitter shares jumped on the news, but immediately began surrendering some of those gains, which could be a sign that investors feel some ambiguity on whether the bid will be accepted.

Twitter stock, after all, has been as high as $73.34 in the past year.

Some analysts, though, say the company might not have a choice.

“It probably happens. Management is in a tight spot here,” Gene Munster of Loup Ventures said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “A rebuff would be a powerful mistake.”

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives agreed, saying he believes the Twitter board will ultimately accept the bid, but not immediately.

“It would be hard for any other bidders/consortium to emerge and the Twitter board will be forced likely to accept this bid and/or run an active process to sell Twitter,” he wrote in a note to clients. “The next step will be Twitter’s Board officially reviewing the Musk filing/letter and then [it’s] get out the popcorn time as we expect many twists and turns in the weeks ahead as Twitter and Musk walk down this marriage path.”

And Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, called the bid “very generous … for a business that has been a serial underperformer and tends to treat its users with indifference.”

Still, given Musk’s sometimes erratic behavior, not everyone is convinced the deal will close.

“Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share is a punchy 38% higher than when he disclosed his initial stake but is still 30% below the share price highs of last year,” Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro told Reuters. “This opens a battle for control between new CEO Parag Agrawal, who is trying to engineer a company turnaround, and Musk’s view that Twitter will ‘neither thrive nor serve (its) societal imperative in its current form’.”

Musk might call this a “best and final” offer, but the CEO of Tesla has a history of changing his mind (the most recent example being his flip-flopping on joining the company’s board). An extended fight could push Twitter to enact a poison pill, which would make it harder for him to obtain a big stake in the company without the board’s support.  

Twitter, in a statement on Thursday, said it would “carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders”.

Just days ago, though, Agrawal warned investors of “distractions ahead.” Musk, in his offer, said if his takeover is rejected he “would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

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