Elon Musk launches political and economic takeover on Twitter

$54.20. This is the very serious amount at which Elon Musk has offered to buy back shares from Twitter… But it’s also a nod to cannabis, nicknames “4/20” in American slang and refers to the habit of smoking joints at 4:20 p.m. As is so often the case with the founders of Tesla and SpaceX, entrepreneurial extravagance meets schoolboy provocation, the accomplished art of the opposite. The surprise takeover bid made by the world’s richest man on Thursday, April 14 sent the business and media worlds – and Twitter – into a moment of surreal excitement. The hostile capitalist maneuver is all the more suspect because, in addition to its economic aspect, it also contains an important political dimension.

Twitter “will neither thrive nor fulfill its societal mission [de liberté d’expression] in its current form, Mr Musk explained in a letter to the board. Before throwing with his usual aplomb: “Twitter has enormous potential. I’ll make it happen »

The price offered by Elon Musk in his takeover bid values ​​the company, in which he already owns 9%, at $46 billion. The buyer is therefore willing to pay a “Bonus”, ie a bonus of 21% compared to the title’s opening price on Thursday and 54% compared to January 28th, the date on which it began investing discreetly in Twitter until becoming its first shareholder. This inconspicuous raid was uncovered on April 4th in documents from the US stock police officer. Surprised, Twitter bosses then proposed that the new shareholder join the board, before in a new twist on April 11, the concerned declined. In fact, it was probably a tactic to have freer legal hands.

“I don’t play the classic back and forth game” prefer “Get straight to the point”, Elon Musk explains to the board today in his letter announcing his unfriendly takeover. The social network announced that it was starting “check carefully” the offer.

Also read: Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder

A social network that is still in deficit

Twitter, much more than the other social networks, is an achievable goal because it is in a much more precarious economic situation than Facebook (2.9 billion users), YouTube (Alphabet Google Group, 2 billion users) or TikTok ( 1 billion users). ). According to Insider Intelligence, revenue in 2021 was $5 billion, representing around 1% online advertising market share. Despite nearly 220 million daily active users, the company has never found real financial stability and is still not profitable. Its growth has slowed in recent months and its business model, based almost entirely on advertising, has been hit by the pandemic crisis. In 2021, the company still lost $221 million despite a 37% increase in revenue.

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