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Twitter moves to block Elon Musk’s takeover

Elon Musk

Twitter moved Friday to defend itself against Elon Musk’s $43 billion hostile takeover bid, announcing a plan that would allow shareholders to purchase additional stock.

“The Rights Plan will reduce the likelihood that any entity, person or group gains control of Twitter through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium,” Twitter said in a statement.

The Tesla chief had launched a hostile takeover bid for Twitter, insisting it was a “best and final offer” and that he was the only person capable of unlocking the full potential of the platform.

The move throws another curve into a roller-coaster ride for Musk’s volatile relationship with the global social media service, and raises many questions about what comes next.

“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” Musk wrote in a filing to US regulators made public Thursday, adding the site has the possibility to be “the platform for free speech around the globe.”

“The company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” he added.

The world’s richest person offered $54.20 a share, which values the social media firm at some $43 billion, in a filing dated Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Twitter’s board had said it would carefully review what it termed Musk’s “unsolicited, non-binding” offer and decide on a course of action that was “in the best interest of the company and all Twitter stockholders.”

Musk last week disclosed a purchase of 73.5 million shares — or 9.2 per cent — of Twitter’s common stock, an announcement that sent Twitter shares soaring more than 25 per cent.

He was offered a seat on the board but turned it down over the weekend.


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