The board is also looking at soliciting offers from other companies that may want to acquire Twitter, said one of the people familiar with its plans, another popular move among targets. take over. It’s unclear if Twitter has reached out to anyone yet.
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said a deal could require Musk to get $15 billion to $20 billion in debt. Although Musk is the richest man in the world, most of his worth is tied to Tesla stock.
Twitter may question Musk’s ability to fund the deal or suggest it undervalues the company. The offer is a 54% premium to the stock price the day before he started investing in the company at the end of January. But Twitter’s stock has been trading well above Musk’s bid for years.
When Mr. Musk announced his stake in Twitter, several board members greeted him, including Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder. Twitter has offered Mr. Musk a seat in his boardroom, a move that executives hope will prevent him from publicly criticizing the company. But the welcome quickly turned sour. Mr. Musk turned down the board seat.
By Wednesday, Mr. Musk was ready to reveal his next move. In a message to Bret Taylor, Twitter’s chairman of the board, Musk said: “I believe in its potential to become a platform for free speech globally, and I believe because speech is a social imperative for a functioning democracy,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that was later made public. “Twitter needs to be transformed into a private company.”
Mr. Taylor, Salesforce’s co-CEO, has served on Twitter’s board since 2016, when Salesforce considered acquiring Twitter. Mr. Taylor joined Salesforce a year later, after it acquired his own company, Quip.
Another important board member is Egon Durban, co-director of Silver Lake, a private investment firm. Durban joins Twitter’s board in 2020 as part of a deal the company signed with another activist investor, Elliot Management, which wants to improve its leadership. Mr. Dorsey is friendly with Mr. Musk, but he will leave the Twitter board next month.