WILL ELON MUSK ATTEMPT A HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF TWITTER?
Elon Musk is not joining Twitter board after all. This was revealed in an announcement made on Twitter on Sunday, April 10, 2022 by the CEO, Parag Agrawal. According to Agrawal, in an internal memo which he shared to the public on Twitter, Musk declined the offer to be a board member on the morning of the very day his membership was to become officially effective (Saturday, April 9).
No wonder Musk (who became the world’s richest man in 2021) was trolling the company mercilessly over the weekend as the screenshots below show. In one tweet on Saturday, April 9, he asked if Twitter was dying. In two tweets on Sunday, April 10 (which appear to have been deleted) he conducted polls asking if Twitter headquarters in San Francisco should be converted to a homeless shelter (with options “Y”/”N”), and if the “w” in Twitter should be deleted, giving as options only “Yes” and “Of course”.
I think he has realised that being on the board will not give him the liberty to acquire more shares to have the kind of votes for changing company policy.
Musk couldn’t have bought more than 14.9% of Twitter stock as a board member for the duration of his two-year term and for 90 days thereafter.
But now he can engineer a hostile takeover by buying as much stock as necessary without the cap on board members.
I think Twitter management invited him to join the board to control him via the stock purchase cap. Besides, Musk is seen as disruptive and unconventional like Donald Trump. He doesn’t filter his speech as the rest of the elite do and he is against censorship and wokeism.
So Twitter management was also hoping to be free from the embarrassment of Musk’s constant rants that contradict their policy and the Biden regime’s directives.
The hint to this given in the announcement by CEO Agrawal can be seen in the paragraph where he says the board had many discussions with Musk explaining the risks of being a board member and the expectation that he would have fiduciary responsibilities (that is, act in the best interests of the company and shareholders).
Obviously, the problem is not protecting the interests of the shareholders who are largely concerned with making money as Musk’s purchase of shares gave them their first gain in two years. The problem is that Musk obviously does not support the company’s politics and the hope was that having fiduciary duties will prevent him from attacking it publicly. Well, Musk isn’t having any of that.
In a poll he conducted on the platform on March 25, he had asked if Twitter was upholding free speech, an essential element of democracy. Seventy per cent of the respondents said “No”. In a follow-up poll, he asked: “Given that Twitter is the de facto town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Twitter users overwhelmingly implored him to buy and reform the platform which seems to have motivated his purchase of the company’s stock. So, obviously he has an agenda that clashes with the prevailing company culture.
Twitter employees and management must therefore be breathing a sigh of relief at the fact that he won’t be on the board because their grip on the control of narrative and opinions seems safe for now.
But we will watch to see what happens next. It will certainly be interesting because on the one hand, Musk did not sink almost 3b dollars into Twitter to let his obvious desire to reform it be pushed aside.
On the other hand, can he achieve his agenda alone? He certainly has the money as his net worth has risen to $273 billion, according to Investopedia. Interestingly, Twitter’s share price which rose by about 27% after he bought his stock and it was revealed he would join the board has begun to tumble with the announcement he will not. If this trend continues, Musk can enlarge his interest in the company at a bargain.
But how about moral support? How can he build a coalition to move forward when most of the elites are so afraid?
And why are they afraid? It’s because the government (the entire political establishment), MSM, BigTech (including these social media giants) are working in cahoots to enforce lefttist authoritarianism and if they launch co-ordinated attacks on someone as they did Trump, how can he hold up?
It’s nice that Musk has started weaning his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, from government subsidies, expanding the input of private capital. His diversification into cryptocurrencies also makes it difficult to easily target his finances. These factors reduce the government’s power over him.
Going back to Agrawal’s announcement that Musk will no longer be joining the board, the last paragraph sounds like a challenge to Musk. It reads:
“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. The decisions we make and how we execute is in our hands, no one else’s. Let us tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what we’re building.”
Musk doesn’t look like the kind of guy to shy away from a challenge. If he doesn’t take over, he can still dump his shares and thus damage the company’s financial prospects.
So as the popular saying goes, “Let the games begin!”
In some posts on my Facebook page, Aunty Edith, I covered the background to the subject of this post.