Earlier today, news broke that business titan Elon Musk offered to take over Twitter. His offer was 38% higher than the company’s current valuation in the stock market.
Rumors have circulated over the past two weeks that Musk is planning a hostile takeover of Twitter after buying a 9.2% share in the company and rejecting a seat on its board. Musk’s offer to buy Twitter out entirely only further confirms these rumors.
Today, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who at one point owned a 5.2% stake in Twitter, rejected Musk’s offer, saying it was insufficient.
Musk responded shortly after, indirectly criticizing Saudi Arabia’s repressive measures against free speech and freedom of the press.
The Daily Mail Reports–
“Elon Musk has fired back at a Saudi Arabian shareholder of Twitter who tried to block his $41 billion hostile takeover plan, questioning whether royalty in the notoriously repressive state should exercise control over the social media platform.
In a tweet, Musk responded harshly to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who claimed to be ‘one of the largest’ Twitter shareholders and said he would ‘reject’ Musk’s proposal to take the company private, calling the offer insufficient.
‘How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?’ Musk asked bin Talal.
Bin Talal’s true ownership stake in Twitter is unclear. Though the prince shared a screenshot boasting of his 5.2 percent stake in 2015, his investment firm later reduced its stake below 5 percent, and has not had to report any further transactions, regulatory filings show.
Bin Talal is a cousin to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whom the CIA concluded ordered the grisly assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The Saudi government has long ranked near the worst in the world for press freedom.”
Members of Twitter’s board have already started plotting against Musk’s planned hostile takeover. Twitter’s board reportedly met Thursday afternoon and hatched a plan to dilute Twitter’s stock by introducing a diluge of new shares, also called a ‘poison-pill’ provision.