Apr 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

Elon Musk goes into full goblin mode

Elon Musk seemingly doing a goblin impression
Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The goblin is serious.

Why it matters: The world's richest man — someone who used to be compared to Marvel's Iron Man — is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain, commanding seemingly unlimited resources with which to finance his mischief-making.

The big picture: Elon Musk has decided he wants to take Twitter private at $54.20 per share, assuming he can get "anticipated financing" in place.

  • In a 138-word offer letter to Twitter board chair Bret Taylor that includes the words "I" or "my" 11 different times, Musk writes that "Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it."

Flashback: Elon Musk recently referred to himself as being "in goblin mode" when he took a 9.1% stake in Twitter and started tweeting manically about things like converting its headquarters to a homeless shelter.

Threat level: Musk can be a very dangerous beast when goblin mode is enabled.

  • You're going to hear much more about this bid than you would about a normal proposed M&A transaction, in large part because Twitter is where journalists congregate and do a lot of their work, and they really don't want to be working in Elon Musk's private playpen.

Reality check: Musk claims his offer is "best and final," which will make it easier for Twitter's board to reject.

  • Twitter shares were trading above the proposed takeover price as recently as October, and although Musk is close to Twitter co-founder and board member Jack Dorsey, it's hard to imagine there's a level of goodwill towards him in the Twitter boardroom that would militate in favor of accepting his (extremely vague) offer.

The bottom line: "There will be distractions ahead," wrote Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal after Musk decided not to join the Twitter board. This outcome was generally considered a low-probability worst-case scenario. Now it's here.

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