Billionaire and Space X CEO Elon Musk has filed a new Securities and Exchange Commission document that allows him to continue buying stock in Twitter, which could be used to takeover the tech company. (Matt Rourke / AP)
By Jack Davis April 11, 2022 at 4:17pm
A new filing clears the way for major Twitter shareholder Elon Musk to play both an inside game and an outside one as he pursues whatever plan he has in mind for the social media giant.
Musk, CEO of Space X and Tesla, bought a huge share of Twitter but turned down a seat on Twitter’s board.
In addition, Musk has filed a new Securities and Exchange Commission document that takes off just about all restrains upon the wild card investor, according to The Verge.
Musk’s initial form classified him as a “passive” investor. No more.
Also gone is language that would have prevented Musk from buying more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock.
The new document says Musk “may engage in discussions with the Board and/or members of the Issuer’s management team concerning, including, without limitation, potential business combinations and strategic alternatives, the business, operations, capital structure, governance, management, strategy of the Issuer and other matters concerning the Issuer.”
Musk now “may express his views to the Board and/or members of the Issuer’s management team and/or the public through social media or other channels with respect to the Issuer’s business, products and service offerings,” according to his updated filing.
So what does that mean? The answer remains unknown.
In speaking of Musk, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees Sunday night that “we will remain open to his input.”
Will Elon Musk stage a takeover of Twitter?
However, it remains unclear what that input might be.
“This is not typical activism or, frankly, anything like activism that we’ve seen before,” said Ele Klein, co-chair of the global Shareholder Activism Group at the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, according to The New York Times. “Elon Musk doesn’t do things that people have seen before.”
“Normally an activist is very clear in their intentions,” said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed Ventures, a venture capital investment fund.
But “we don’t know what Elon Musk’s true motivation is. Is this Elon having fun? Is this Elon trying to effect change? Is this Elon trying to drive the stock higher?”
Musk’s decision does leave the door open for him to pursue a hostile takeover, if he wishes.
“Without that limit, Musk could now — in theory — pursue a hostile takeover by buying the company outright. That’s a move his extraordinary wealth comfortably enables him to do,” Fortune reported.
Analysts are saying Musk has positioned himself perfectly for a takeover, and they are conjecturing this is exactly what he plans.
“This now goes from a Cinderella story with Musk joining the Twitter board to likely a Game of Thrones battle between Musk and Twitter,” said Dan Ives, a Wedbush analyst who covers Tesla, Forbes reported.
“Twitter is more vulnerable than some of its internet peers to outside pressure because its founders don’t have special voting control,” Justin Post, director of equity research at Bank of America Securities, wrote after Musk revealed his stake in the platform, Fortune reported.