AP – On October 4, Elon Musk reversed himself and offered to honour his original proposal to buy Twitter for USD44 billion – a deal he had spent the several months trying to wriggle out of. He made the latest offer just two weeks before a Twitter lawsuit aimed at forcing Musk to go through with the deal was scheduled to go to trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
After receiving Musk’s offer, Twitter said it intends to close the transaction. If the case has your head spinning, here’s a quick guide to the major events in the saga:
JANUARY 31: Musk starts buying shares of Twitter in near-daily instalments, amassing a five per cent stake in the company by mid-March.
MARCH 26: Musk, who has tens of millions of Twitter followers and is active on the site, says he is giving “serious thought” to building an alternative to Twitter, questioning the platform’s commitment to “free speech” and whether Twitter is undermining democracy. He also privately reached out to Twitter Board members including his friend and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
MARCH 27: After privately informing Twitter of his growing stake in the company, Musk starts conversations with its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and board members about potentially joining the board. Musk also mentions taking Twitter private or starting a competitor, according to later regulatory filings.
APRIL 4: A regulatory filing reveals that Musk has rapidly become the largest shareholder of Twitter after acquiring a nine-per-cent stake, or 73.5 million shares, worth about USD3 billion.
APRIL 5: Musk is offered a seat on Twitter’s board on the condition he amasses no more than 14.9 per cent of the company’s stock. CEO Parag Agrawal says in a tweet that “it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our board”.
APRIL 9: After exchanging pleasantries and bonding by text message over their love of engineering, a short-lived relationship between Agrawal and Musk soursafter Musk publicly tweeted “Is Twitter dying?” and gets a message from Agrawal calling the criticism unhelpful. Musk tersely responds: “This is a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private.”
APRIL 11: Parag Agrawal announces Musk will not be joining the board after all.
APRIL 14: Twitter reveals in a securities filing that Musk has offered to buy the company outright for about USD44 billion.
APRIL 15: Twitter’s board unanimously adopts a “poison pill” defence in response to Musk’s proposed offer, attempting to thwart a hostile takeover.
APRIL 21: Musk lines up USD46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter. The Twitter board is under pressure to negotiate.
APRIL 25: Musk reaches a deal to buy Twitter for USD44 billion and take the company private. The outspoken billionaire has said he wanted to own and privatise Twitter because he thinks it’s not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.
APRIL 29: Musk sells roughly USD8.5 billion worth of shares in Tesla to help fund the purchase of Twitter, according to regulatory filings.
MAY 5: Musk strengthens his offer to buy Twitter with commitments of more than USD7 billion from a diverse group of investors including Silicon Valley heavy hitters like Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
MAY 10: In a hint at how he would change Twitter, Musk says he’d reverse Twitter’s ban on former United States (US) President Donald Trump following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol, calling the ban a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”.
MAY 13: Musk declarshis plan to buy Twitter “temporarily on hold”.Musk says he needs to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. Shares of Twitter tumbled, while those of Tesla rebound sharply.
JUNE 6: Musk threatens to end his USD44 billion agreement to buy Twitter, accusing the company of refusing to give him the information he requested about its spam bot accounts.
JULY 8: Musk says he will abandon his offer to buy Twitter after the company failed to provide enough information about the number of fake accounts.
JULY 12: Twitter sues Musk to force him to complete the deal. Musk countersued.
JULY 19: A Delaware judge says the Musk-Twitter legal dispute will go to trial in October.
AUGUST 23: A former head of security at Twitter alleges the company misled regulators about its poor cybersecurity defences and its negligence in attempting to root out fake accounts that spread misinformation.
Musk eventually cite the whistleblower as a new reason to scuttle his Twitter deal.
OCTOBER 5: Musk offers to go through with his original proposal to buy Twitter for USD44 billion. Twitter says it intends to close the transaction after receiving Musk’s offer.
OCTOBER 6: Delaware judge delays October 17 trial until November and gives both sides until October 28 to reach an agreement.
OCTOBER 20: The Washington Post reports that Musk has told prospective Twitter investors that he plans to lay off 75 per cent of the company’s 7,500 employees.
OCTOBER 26: Musk posted a video of himself entering Twitter headquarters carrying a kitchen sink, indicating that the deal is set to go through.
OCTOBER 27: Musk says Twitter won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape”. He later takes control of Twitter and fired the company’s CEO, CFO and general counsel.