Billionaire Elon Musk said Tuesday that he still sees three “unresolved matters” impeding the closure of his $44 billion Twitter takeover agreement.
Progress on Musk’s negotiations with Twitter’s board has stalled since mid-May, when the billionaire declared the deal was “temporarily on hold” while he assessed the number of spam bots within the social media app’s user base.
When asked about the status of his concerns and whether Twitter has provided “enough information” about its platform, Musk indicated the spam bot issue is still a main obstacle.
“You’ve probably read about the question as to whether the number of fake and spam users on the system is less than 5% as Twitter claims, which I think is probably not most people’s experience when using Twitter,” Musk told Bloomberg during an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum.
“We’re sort of waiting for a resolution on that matter and that is a very significant matter,” he added.
Musk’s comments on the Twitter deal surfaced hours before the company’s board said in a filing that its members unanimously recommended that shareholders approve the $44 billion agreement.
“Of course, there is the question of whether the debt portion of the round comes together and then, will the shareholders vote in favor? I think those are the three things that need to be resolved before the transaction can complete,” Musk added.
Musk has committed to paying $33.5 billion in cash and covering the remaining cost through debt financing. A recent SEC filing showed Musk has secured more than $7 billion in funding from investors that include Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and private equity giant Sequoia Capital.
The proposed sale price at $54.20 per share is a significant premium over the current value of Twitter’s stock, which was trading flat Tuesday at $37.38 per share. Investors would earn a profit of $15.22 per share if the deal were to close now.
Twitter sought to assuage Musk’s concerns about spam bots by reversing course and providing his team with access to its “data firehose” – a massive source of information that includes every single tweet posted on the platform. It’s still unclear if that will be sufficient to address Musk’s gripes about the user base.
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