Oct 21, 2022 - Technology

Elon Musk closes in on Twitter takeover

Illustration of a shrugging man holding a stack of money and the Twitter logo

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Elon Musk's $44 billion Twitter takeover is expected to close one week from today, with both sides privately expressing confidence. But of course, it can't be quite that straightforward.

State of play: Twitter shares this morning opened at $50 per share, which is more than $4 below the price Musk agreed to pay. That means either the confidence is misplaced, or there is some very easy money to be made right now.

  • The stock dive seems tied to a Bloomberg report from late yesterday, claiming that the Biden administration may launch a national security review of certain Musk ventures. Included could be Twitter, ostensibly due to equity co-investments from foreign entities.
  • National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson tells Axios that "we do not know of any such discussions." In theory, CFIUS could be working independently on this, but Biden himself would have to approve any pre-merger block, and time is running short.

Elsewhere: There's also a Washington Post story about Musk planning massive Twitter layoffs. This tracks with what I'm hearing about Musk operating as if he's about to own the company.

  • WaPo also reports that Twitter would implement big cuts of its own were it to remain independent, although a subsequent company memo says that it hasn't developed any layoff plans since the Musk deal was signed in May.

The bottom line: No deal is ever over until it's over. But that maxim is even more acute in this case.

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