On April 4, Twitter broke when Tesla CEO Elon Musk became its largest shareholder. The story spread like a wild fire and there have been developments since. As the Twitter-Musk saga continues, here is a brief timeline for those who are trying to catch up.
January 31, 2022: Musk starts raising his stake in Twitter
The story majorly broke on April 4, but the roots go back to January 31, 2022. On this day Musk quietly started buying Twitter shares and by March 14, he had a 5 percent stake in the social media giant, according to a Bloomberg report. At the 5 percent point, Musk was supposed to inform the SEC, but he missed the deadline of 10 days. This attracted a lawsuit later.
March 24, 2022: Elon Musk’s public criticism of Twitter begins
Musk’s stake was still a secret and no announcement had been made. He started his criticism by pointing out that Twitter is a de facto town hall and free speech should be essential on it for democracy. He then tweeted about making Twitter’s algorithm public/open source.
On March 25, he tweeted a poll asking users if they feel Twitter adheres to the free speech principles. And on March 26, he again tweeted a poll asking users if a new platform is needed.
4 April 2022: The news of Elon Musk being the largest shareholder of Twitter breaks
In a SEC regulatory filing it was disclosed that Elon Musk has a 9 percent stake in Twitter making him the largest individual shareholder. However, no announcement was made by Musk or Twitter. But Musk tweeted another poll asking users if they want an edit button. Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal joined in by asking users to vote carefully as there would be serious consequences.
April 5, 2022: Musk becomes an active shareholder
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk will be joining the company’s board. Later that day, in a separate SEC filing Musk states his position as an active shareholder. The board seat limited Musk from buying more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock.
April 9, 2022: Musk rejects the Board seat offer
On the day Musk was set to join the board he informed that he would be rejecting the offer and tweeted that he is looking forward to working with Agarwal.
However, as per the Bloomberg report, Twitter waited to see if he changed his mind before taking him off from their investor relations website as a board member. During the time Musk tweeted criticism and several suggestions for Twitter.
April 11, 2022: Twitter finally makes the news public
Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal sends out a note to employees regarding Musk’s rejection, and later tweets it publicly. No reason for the reversal is given.
April 12, 2022: Musk gets a lawsuit for not disclosing his stake to the SEC on time
Twitter investor Marc Bain Rasella filed a lawsuit against Musk in a New York federal court alleging that Musk did not disclose his purchase of 5 percent stake within the deadline and saved $143 million as a result illegally.
April 14, 2022: Musk makes an offer to buy Twitter
Elon Musk tweets that he has made an offer to buy Twitter for $43 billion or at $54.20 per share and it is his best and final offer. In a letter to the SEC, Musk writes that if the offer is not accepted, he would reconsider his position as a shareholder.
Twitter’s shares fall by 1.7 percent to a price of $45.08 according to MarketWatch.
Later that day in a TED event in Vancouver, Musk mentions his plans of taking over Twitter and says he has a Plan B but doesn’t elaborate on that.
April 15, 2022: Twitter board announces a ‘poison pill strategy’ to prevent a hostile takeover
Twitter’s board of directors issued a new ‘shareholder rights plan’ to block Musk’s offer. It mentioned that its board of directors would be employing a ‘poison pill’ deterrent which means the current shareholders of the company will be allowed to purchase more shares at a discounted price to weaken the ownership interest of Musk who is trying to take over. The strategy is expected to kick in if Musk’s stake in Twitter increases to 15 percent or higher, according to an India Today report.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)