Twitter strikes back. The social network, which is the subject of an unsolicited takeover bid by Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, announced measures on Friday, April 15, supposed to prevent the latter from easily redeeming his shares. .
Twitter’s board has passed a time-limited shareholder rights plan called a “poison pill” that could make it more difficult for Elon Musk to acquire the company.
The plan must “to reduce the possibility that any entity, person or group will take control of Twitter by accumulating stock in the market without paying all shareholders an appropriate premium or without allowing sufficient time for the board of directors to take informed decisions »says the group.
The ‘poison pill’ provision, announced in a Friday press release, preserves the right of Twitter shareholders other than Musk to acquire more shares of the company at a relatively cheap price, diluting Musk’s stake .
The disposition will be triggered if Musk (or any other investor) acquires more than 15% of the company’s shares. Musk currently owns about 9% of Twitter shares.
The move marks an effort by Twitter’s board to regain control of the deal after Musk’s stunning takeover bid. The poison pill — a corporate takeover defense mechanism — won’t necessarily stop Musk’s bid in its tracks, but it could make buying the company more expensive or force Musk to the negotiating table with the board of directors.
“The Rights Plan will reduce the likelihood that any entity, person or group will gain control of Twitter through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium or giving the board enough time to make informed judgments and take actions that are in the best interest of shareholders”the company said in its statement.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO on Thursday offered to acquire all shares of Twitter he does not own for $54.20 per share, valuing the company at $41.4 billion.
Very critical of Twitter’s content moderation policy, Musk says he wants to do it “the platform for freedom of expression in the world”with fewer limits on what users can tweet.
Twitter’s stock fluctuated a bit on Thursday but remained mostly flat, closing around $45, well below Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share.
Twitter’s poison pill plan will remain in effect for a year, the board said. More details of the plan are expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is not yet publicly available.