Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

A Timeline Of What Went Wrong With Elon Musk's Hostile Takeover Of Twitter

As Twitter and Elon Musk gear up for a legal battle against each other, here is a timeline of events that unfolded ever since the world’s richest man announced his plans to take over Twitter

Elon Musk Photo by AP/PTI

Since April this year, Elon Musk’s proposed buyout deal for Twitter has been making headlines. But in the past three months, a lot has happened–from Twitter deploying poison pill defence to thwart Musk’s hostile takeover of the social media platform to Twitter suing Musk after he pulled out of the $44 billion buyout deal. 

As Twitter and Elon Musk gear up for a legal battle against each other, here is a timeline of events that unfolded ever since the world’s richest man announced his plans to take over Twitter. 

January 31, 2022: Musk starts increasing his stake in Twitter. Musk’s stake in the micro-blogging site increased to five per cent. He misses the deadline of disclosing his stake to the US Securities And Exchanges by 10 days. 

March 24, 2022: Musk begins criticizing the social media platform. In one of his tweets, he asks users, “Free speech is essential to functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”

March 26, 2022: In another tweet, Musk asks Twitter users if a new platform is needed in order to promote free speech. 

April 4, 2022: Musk buys a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, thus becoming the largest shareholder of the micro-blogging site. He made a passive investment of 73.5 million shares of common stocks in his personal capacity. 

April 5, 2022: Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announces that Musk will be joining the Twitter board. Musk suggests introducing the long-awaited ‘edit option’ via a Twitter poll for the microblogging site’s 280-character format. Twitter says that the company is working on an edit option, which will be first tested on Twitter Blue—the company’s paid service, but denies that it has anything to do with the changes suggested by Musk. 

April 9, 2022: Citing the World of Statistics report which points out that the Top 10 Twitter accounts rarely post on the social media platform, Musk tweets, “Is Twitter dying?” 

April 10, 2022: Musk suggests three more changes-- to introduce an authentication mark for Twitter Blue users, to convert Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters to a homeless shelter, and to delete ‘w’ from the word Twitter for the social media platform.  

April 11, 2022: Twitter CEO informs the company's shareholders and employees that Musk has refused to buy Twitter. 

April 13, 2022: A group of Twitter investors files a complaint in the New York Federal Court alleging Musk of delay in revealing his stake in Twitter so that he could buy more shares in the company at a cheaper price. 

April 14, 2022: The Tesla CEO offers to buy the microblogging site worth $41.39 billion for $54.20 per share, and at a 38 per cent premium to the closing price of Twitter’s stock on April 1, the last trading day before Musk bought the majority stake in the company. In a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor, Musk says that this is his best and final offer, and if not accepted, he would need to reconsider his position as a shareholder.

April 14, 2022: Pennsylvania-based Vanguard holdings acquires a 10.3 per cent stake in the company, thus defeating Musk as the largest shareholder of the company. Twitter’s CEO puts out a statement, reassuring his disgruntled employees that the company is not “held hostage” by Musk’s offer. 

April 14, 2022: Advocating for free speech, Musk suggests that Twitter should consider doing an open-source algorithm. In another statement, he says that he is not sure about acquiring the microblogging site, but if his bid for Twitter fails, the billionaire has a Plan B. While some Twitter shareholders reject Musk’s buyout proposal, others say that the buyout offer was very less. 

April 16, 2022: Twitter adopts the ‘poison pill’ defence to wield Musk’s attempt at a hostile takeover.

April 17, 2022: Musk says, “Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s ~$3M/year saved right there.”

April 18, 2022: Musk tweets Elvis Presley’s famous song, Love Me Tender. Experts suggest that Musk is referring to a Tender offer to buy Twitter. 

April 19, 2022: Musk tweets, “_______ is the night” again fueling the speculations of his tender offer. 

April 21, 2022: Musk secures financing worth $46.5 billion to buy the social media platform. 

April 24, 2022: Twitter board holds discussions with Musk to consider his buyout proposal.  

April 25, 2022: Twitter board seals the deal with Musk to sell the microblogging site worth $44 billion. 

April 29: Musk sells Tesla shares worth $8.5 billion to raise funds for the purchase of Twitter, according to a regulatory filing. 

May 5: Musk raises funds worth $7 billion from a diverse group of investors for the Twitter deal including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

May 10: Musk hints at reversing the Twitter ban of former US President Donald Trump following the Capitol Hill riots of January 6, 2021. He calls the ban a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”

May 13: Musk puts the Twitter deal temporarily on hold after pointing out the number of spam-bot accounts on social media platforms. He said that less than 5 per cent of Twitter’s active users represent spam or fake account.  

May 15:  Tesla CEO puts out a thread alleging Twitter of manipulating algorithms. 

May 17: Musk says that the Twitter deal will not move forward unless the company discloses information regarding bots. 

June 6: Musk threatens to pull the plug on the Twitter deal accusing the company of not providing the required information on spam bot accounts.

July 9:  A SEC filing reveals Tesla CEO’s plans of backing out of the Twitter deal. 

July 11: Twitter hires Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen &Katz to sue Elon Musk, whereas Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan will defend Elon Musk’s case.