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Elon Musk's Twitter buyout gives a nod to weed-friendly holiday, 420

Apr 26, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Financing documents submitted earlier this month were signed on April 20.

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Elon Musk offered US$54.20 ($69.38) per share as part of his bid to buy Twitter for US$44 billion ($56.3 billion). Financing documents submitted earlier this month were signed on 4/20, the unofficial holiday to celebrate everything cannabis, Reuters reports.

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Of course, it’s not the first time Musk has attracted attention with weed-friendly share prices. In 2018, he tweeted saying he would think about taking Tesla private if shares hit US$420 ($537.60).

  1. Elon Musk, pictured Sep. 7, 2018, smokes weed on

    Elon Musk: ‘Twitter’s next board meeting is going to be lit’

  2. The Securities Exchange Commission told Tesla to get a grip on Musk’s communications. And Musk had to cede the role of chairman to improve oversight at the carmaker.

    No more ‘420’ tweets? Tesla’s new chairman says Elon Musk uses Twitter ‘wisely’

  3. FILE: Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. PHOTO BY WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

    South African politician suggests Elon Musk is among the billionaires that can help make space weed a reality

That bit of whimsy landed the billionaire in hot water with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) none-too-pleased about the joke.

Per Fortune, Musk ended up forking over $25.6 million after being charged with securities fraud for misleading investors. He also reportedly agreed to step down from his position as Tesla chair for three years.

The civil action filed by the SEC against Musk noted that Musk had “calculated the $420 price per share based on a 20 per cent premium over that day’s closing share price because he thought 20 per cent was a ‘standard premium’ in going-private transactions.”

Although that calculation ended up being US$419 ($536), Musk added “he rounded the price up to $420 because he had recently learned about the number’s significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend would find it funny, ‘which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price.’”

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Reuters reports that after Twitter higher-ups began going through Musk’s proposal, many of the biggest Wall Street banks “committed to providing US$25.5 billion ($32.6 billion) in debt, some of it secured against Twitter and some of it tied to Musk’s Tesla stock. Musk himself committed another $21 billion ($26.9 billion) in cash.”

This week, San Francisco-headquartered Twitter came to a decision, announcing that the company “has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for US$54.20 ($69.38) per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately US$44 billion ($56.3 billion).”

Twitter stockholders will get US$54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock they own upon closing of the proposed transaction, the statement notes.

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Once everything has been signed and approved, “Twitter will become a privately held company,” it adds.

“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s independent board chair, says in the statement.

Musk has touted the need for the platform to be democratic and champion free speech, whatever the views. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk notes in the Twitter statement.

Famously, Twitter announced last year that after reviewing recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them, “we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

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It’s not clear if Musk would welcome former President Donald Trump back to the platform, but Trump has already signalled that he would take a pass to focus on posting on his new so-called social network, Truth Social, according to CNBC.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that there would be no comment on individual transactions.

Psaki did note, however, that President Joe Biden has long been concerned about the power of social media platforms to spread misinformation, per Reuters. “Our concerns are not new,” she reportedly said.

Not surprisingly, Musk also tweeted his hopes regarding the new deal. “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” he noted.

In a tweet last week, Musk wrote: “If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!”

Musk points out in the Twitter statement that the platform “has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Twitter buy is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of company stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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