$44bn Twitter deal ramps up as Musk increases his equity commitment

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With the takeover deal still pending, Twitter’s board had a shake-up as co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down and Musk’s business associate Egon Durban was voted out.

Billionaire Elon Musk has revised his financing plan for the proposed $44bn deal to acquire Twitter, increasing his personal commitment to $33.5bn.

A new set of SEC documents released on 24 May revealed that the Tesla CEO secured an additional $6.25bn in equity financing.

Future Human

The documents also state that Musk is in talks with current Twitter stakeholders, including its co-founder Jack Dorsey, to help finance the deal.

The new commitment from Musk has raised investor hopes that the deal will go ahead, causing Twitter shares to go up by 5pc, CNBC reports.

It follows turmoil earlier this month when Musk said the deal was “temporarily on hold”. He said this was due to a claim by Twitter that spam and fake accounts represent less than 5pc of users on the site, while an external estimate suggested the number of bots could be nearly a fifth of all daily active users.

Shake-up of Twitter’s board

Musk’s new commitment was revealed ahead of Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday (25 May). During this meeting, shareholders voted to boot Egon Durban from the company’s board of directors, CNBC reports.

Durban, the co-CEO of investment firm Silver Lake, is a long-time business associate of Musk as his firm has worked on deals with the Tesla CEO in the past. In 2015, Silver Lake put $100m into Musk’s solar business, SolarCity, before it was acquired by Tesla.

The shareholder meeting also saw Dorsey step down from the board of directors with immediate effect, ending his 15-year journey with the company.

Dorsey first announced his plans to leave Twitter in November last year when he stepped down as the company’s CEO. He said at the time that he would remain a member of the board until his term expired this year.

Meta’s board also saw a shake-up yesterday as Peter Thiel, the billionaire PayPal co-founder and tech investor, stepped down at its annual shareholder meeting.

Thiel first announced his plans to leave Meta in February, when it was reported that he planned to focus his attention and resources on backing political allies of Donald Trump in the US midterm elections in November.

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Elon Musk at a TED interview. Image: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC by 2.0)