Elon Musk’s chase on Twitter has been a melodrama from the start – a fleeting courtship between a mercurial billionaire and an influential social media platform.
That relationship — a love-hate relationship on both sides — is finally secured, with Mr. Musk taking control of the company on Thursday, according to US media outlets.
Here’s a look at his on-off romance with the network:
It all started with an expensive first date: Elon Musk – a longtime Twitter user known for his incendiary tweets – grabbed 73.5 million shares worth nearly $2.9 billion.
The purchase, which was revealed in an April 4 registration application and gave him a 9.2 percent stake in the company, sent Twitter shares soaring and sparked speculation that Mr. Musk was seeking an active role in the activities of the social media company.
It also earned him a place on the board. CEO Parag Agrawal announced the offer — in a tweet, of course — calling Musk “a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need.”
But the initial appeal didn’t last: Musk chose not to join the board and quickly launched a hostile takeover bid for the company, offering $54.20 a share, an April 13 filing showed.
Twitter, in turn, adopted a “poison pill” defense that would allow shareholders to buy additional shares.
Then came the plans for a walk down the aisle of the company: Twitter turned off course, saying on April 25 it was selling to Elon Musk in a $44 billion deal.
Mr. Musk divested $8.4 billion in Tesla stock, pledged up to $21 billion of his personal fortune, and got some friends to bet him a few billion.
The break up
But the billionaire soon began to show signs of cold feet, saying on May 13 that the deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold” pending details about spam and fake accounts on the platform.
After two months of very public fighting over the matter, he canceled the deal and accused Twitter of making “misleading” statements.
The company quickly launched legal action to enforce the agreement.
Both sides were gearing up for a lengthy and hugely expensive showdown in the Delaware Chancery Court.
Elon Musk was buoyed by whistleblower disclosures portraying the company as a cavalier with its bot count and lax security.
However, Twitter believed that the agreement it had with Mr. Musk was watertight.
Then, earlier this month, Mr. Musk revealed — on Twitter, of course — that he had agreed to close the deal at the price initially offered, calling the acquisition an “accelerator” toward creating “X,” which he said it would be. “the everything app”.
He gave no further details.
The lawsuit was suspended and the Delaware court set Friday as the deadline for closing the deal.
On Thursday, word finally came that the marriage was complete: Elon Musk had taken control of Twitter and fired his top executives, including chief executive Agrawal, US media reported.
Earlier in the day, Mr Musk said he hoped to spark “healthy” debate on the platform. Happily ever after? Time will tell.
Elon Musk had already given directions for the impending union, changed his Twitter biography to “Chief Twit” and paid a visit to the company’s California headquarters earlier this week.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)