Twitter says it is 'committed' to its deal with Elon Musk

The businessman has agreed to acquire the microblogging site for $54.20 a share in cash

Twitter shares jumped nearly 1.5 per cent to $37.95 at 9pm UAE time on Tuesday. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Social media company Twitter said on Tuesday that it is committed to the agreement it struck with Elon Musk, even as the billionaire businessman's actions cast doubts on the completion of the sale.

Mr Musk had agreed to acquire Twitter for $54.20 a share in cash for a total of $44 billion. The deal is expected to complete by the end of this year.

The San Francisco-based microblogging site said in its preliminary proxy statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that it is committed to completing the transaction on the “agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable”.

“If the merger is completed, you will be entitled to receive $54.20 in cash, without interest and subject to any applicable withholding taxes,” Twitter told its stakeholders in the filing.

“Twitter’s board of directors, after considering the factors … determined that the merger agreement is advisable and the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement are fair to, advisable, and in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders.”

Twitter shares jumped nearly 1.5 per cent to $37.95 at 9pm UAE time on Tuesday. The company had a $29bn market value as of Tuesday.

The filing came as Mr Musk locked horns with Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal over the company's estimates of spam accounts. Mr Musk tweeted that the “deal cannot move forward” unless the company provides proof that fewer than 5 per cent of its users are fake.

In a filing last week, Twitter said false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter.

On Friday, Mr Musk tweeted that his acquisition of Twitter is temporarily on hold pending details on the amount of fake accounts on the platform.

On Sunday, Mr Musk said he has not yet seen “any analysis” that suggests fewer than 5 per cent of Twitter accounts are fake.

If Mr Musk decides to abandon the agreement he would have to pay the social media company a $1bn break-up fee.

His offer to buy Twitter came after frequent complaints about content censorship and a lack of free speech on the site.

In response to a poll he conducted on the platform, 70.4 per cent of users said Twitter did not stick to free speech principles, while 29.6 per cent supported the platform.

Updated: May 17, 2022, 6:21 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL