24 hours of chaos: Musk officially takes over Twitter, can the bird be “free” from now on


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Here comes Musk – Let that sink in.

On Thursday, Musk, the scumbag king, held a sink like this and pushed open the door of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.

(Let that sink in ≈ You taste, you taste carefully.)

Image credit: @elonmusk

After the big play has been staged for half a year, after countless scenes and many 180-degree turns, Musk finally officially completed a rather legendary piece in his life. Favorite deals:

Acquired Twitter Inc.

half-truth acquisition day

According to multiple U.S. financial media reports, after a meeting with investment banks involved in the acquisition on Monday, Musk gave his last assurance that the delivery would be completed before Friday, October 28, as scheduled.

On the morning of Thursday, October 27, the investment bank completed the payment to the escrow account. At 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, Twitter stock rose slightly and closed at $53.79, which is very close to Musk’s agreed price of $54.20.

Several media reported that on the evening of October 27, local time, Musk completed the delivery of the Twitter acquisition, and when he got off work on Thursday, Musk couldn’t wait to fire Twitter’s CEO, chief financial officer, At least four company executives, including chief legal officer and policy director.

Design picture picture source: Internet

Previously, the judge in the Twitter and Musk lawsuit also set a requirement that Musk must complete the delivery by 5 p.m. on October 28, otherwise the trial will resume. Now that the deadline has passed and the court is silent, it appears that the deal has been completed despite no official announcement.

Musk became the full owner of Twitter. In his view, “the bird is free.”

Source: @elonmusk

However, what happened after the acquisition, like this one, was full of absurd twists and gimmicks.

On Friday morning, at the gate of Twitter’s headquarters, someone staged a “Li Gui was fired”.

Two people with cardboard boxes walked out of the Twitter building and said in an interview with CNBC that they were Twitter’s data engineers. Just now, the company’s entire data engineering team was laid off.

“I worked here for six years and suddenly everything changed,” one of them told reporters.

Image credit: @Yasmin Khorram/CNBC

The whole thing quickly attracted attention. Combined with previous media reports that Musk planned to fire 75% of Twitter’s employees after the acquisition was completed, many netizens believed it to be true and expressed comfort (or ridicule) to the two.

But unexpectedly, the reversal happened very quickly: the two were actually fake employees, and the fact that the entire data engineering team was laid off is even more groundless.

In other words, these two passers-by are purely here to make trouble. Even Musk himself “confirmed” in the afternoon that it was pure entertainment.

Twitter’s layoffs may be delayed, but not absent.

Musk had already visited Twitter’s San Francisco offices on Wednesday and had an hour-long conversation with a small number (dozens) of employees.

On Thursday, at his behest, Tesla’s software engineers were already meeting with Twitter employees to review the company’s code. Even Twitter employees were busy printing their own code all afternoon—yes, they were notified that they needed to print 50 pages of code they wrote in a month, ready to talk to Musk or a senior engineer at Tesla. Do Code Paring.

Leah Culver, Twitter iOS client employee and one of the OAuth authors, showing the code he printed Image Credit: @leahculver

Of course, it didn’t take long for the notification to be rescinded again, and employees were told that they just needed to be ready to show the code on their computers.

On Friday, Musk officially started the process of merging Twitter with his own X Holdings. The entity was set up for the acquisition and is expected to hold all of Twitter’s shares after the company’s official delisting. All other investors will become shareholders in the entity, but X Holdings will be controlled by Musk himself, unsurprisingly.

(X is also a name Musk has been using since he was young, such as X.com, a financial technology company acquired by Paypal after he founded it in his early years, and SpaceX, a rocket company.)

Twitter has asked the NYSE to suspend trading. Musk has nominally taken Twitter private after the deal.

Image source: SEC

The company has until Nov. 8 to buy back shares, after which the shares will not be tradable — meaning the actual privatization is expected to be officially completed on or before Nov. 8.

As for Twitter’s board, it was effectively disbanded after Musk officially took over the company Thursday afternoon. As the company’s largest shareholder and de facto controller, he’ll wield all the power, appointing a new board — and there’s even talk of his own interest as Twitter’s CEO (at least temporarily).

Next, Musk will carry out a drastic reform of the Twitter company, including but not limited to: firing executives, laying off employees, recruiting more new employees, and developing Twitter into some kind of WeChat-like one-stop “super” app” etc.

As for the most controversial issue at present: whether to restore the account qualifications of people including former US President Trump and others, Musk did not directly respond, but tweeted on Friday morning: A “content review committee” will be formed, And until the structure is established, no important and critical content review and account response decisions will be made.

Image credit: @elonmusk

From Musk’s last remorse until the completion of the merger and acquisition transaction, the middle of the story can be described as “smooth” compared to the previous six months.

What can be called the most bizarre merger and acquisition transaction in the history of Internet technology in the United States has come to an end for the time being.

Looking back at the whole process of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter: it can no longer be described with twists and turns, it is simply “turbulent waves”.


Turn the clock back to July of this year. This is also the most stressful period for Musk this year.

As early as April 13, Musk made a takeover offer to Twitter’s board of directors, wanting to buy Twitter wholly at $54 per share and take the company private.

However, in early July, Musk suddenly unilaterally announced that he would withdraw from the merger. Twitter, which was devastated by this “acquisition, exit” farce, did not intend to swallow this sigh and directly sued Musk to the court.

In the early days of the merger, Twitter seemed to have been at a disadvantage, almost being played. However, in the ensuing lawsuit, Twitter’s performance could not be better, successively summoning a number of Musk’s close friends, collecting and publishing a large amount of communication data between them.

It is these practices that touch the weakness that Musk most wants to cover. Unsurprisingly, he was eventually “forced” back to the negotiating table: on October 4, Musk’s lawyers sent a letter to Twitter and the SEC, the US financial regulator, stating that they would continue to complete the acquisition transaction initiated in April this year.

This decision is not a comprehensive “admission” by Musk, but comes with two fatal conditions:

1) Twitter suspends the Delaware trial, which means suspending the discovery process to prevent further exposure of his communication records and expose some potentially more dangerous content;

2) Whether the final delivery can be made depends on whether the debt financing provided by the bank can reach the account.

Image source: SEC

Twitter can only agree. Fortunately, the judge also gave the plaintiff the initiative: it was set that the settlement must be completed before 5 pm on October 28-otherwise Twitter can contact her immediately, and the trial work will resume immediately.

On the day Musk returned to the negotiating table, Bloomberg commentator and former investment bank/legal person Matt Levine offered a key detail:

The funds for this acquisition are divided into three parts, one of which comes from the bank’s debt financing, and is funded by Wall Street investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, which previously signed a loan agreement with Musk, with a total amount of about 13 billion.

According to the practice of leveraged buyout, investment banks will not pay for themselves, but act as brokers to sell these debts to their own large client institutional investors. But now the problem arises, these borrowing agreements were signed when the acquisition was launched in April, and now the economic environment in October, the credit market flexibility is not as good as before, institutional investors see Twitter junk bonds, like vegan Just like entering a steak house, I can’t eat it at all, and I have no appetite.

There are two possible outcomes: the investment bank bites the bullet and eats the junk debt itself, or risks discrediting it and withdraws from the loan agreement with Musk.

Not to mention that there are more complicated situations on top of this. For example, if the investment bank can’t make money but Musk still has to complete the transaction to protect himself, then he can only raise more money himself; and his money basically comes from selling Tesla stock, but Tesla is going to release quarterly earnings in the middle of the month, and it can’t sell stock…

There’s not much time left for Musk.

Image source: “Wired”

The prodigal son returns for gold

Unexpectedly, this character is uncertain, the richest man in the world who decides to go back in less than half a month… In the past month, not only did he not make another 180° turn, he even made shocking remarks on his Twitter account. The frequency of publication has decreased.

Aside from being rumored to be firing three-quarters of Twitter’s staff (he says it’s pure fake news, no such thing at all, more on that later), the level of stability and restraint that Musk has shown is not a good idea for him, who has always gone his own way. Say, it’s unbelievable.

Last Friday, October 21st

After several unremitting efforts in meetings, Musk finally persuaded investment banks that he would fulfill the contract to complete the acquisition of Twitter.

On the same day, several U.S. financial media, including The Wall Street Journal, quoted insiders as saying that because time was indeed too tight, institutional investors could not find the bill. After meeting with Musk many times and building confidence, including Morgan Stanley and other banks that had signed loan agreements before had to decide to make their own payments and temporarily record the losses on their own accounts, totaling at least US$500 million.

It is understood that due to the rapid deterioration of the credit market this year, there have already been two or three leveraged buyout transactions at the investment bank’s own expense. Including this sum for Musk, the Wall Street investment bank has already carried a loss of at least $40 billion this year.

Screenshot source: The Wall Street Journal

Monday, October 24

Musk reiterated his promise to the investment bank in a video conference on Monday that the closing of the acquisition of Twitter would be completed as scheduled on Friday. He said he would formally submit a borrowing notice on Tuesday

A total of seven banks participated in the debt financing, the four most important being Morgan Stanley (27%, $3.5 billion), Bank of America, Barclays and Mitsubishi UFJ (both 21%, $2.7 billion each) , and the remaining three are BNP Paribas, Mizuho and Societe Generale, with investment ratios of 5%, 4% and 2% respectively.

The banks confirmed on the same day that the funds will be deposited into escrow accounts (escrow) this Thursday.

Also on this day, there was news that Musk revealed in this conference call with the investment bank that he planned to fire about three-quarters of Twitter’s employees.

Tuesday, October 25

On Tuesday afternoon, Musk formally submitted the loan notice.

Wednesday, October 25th morning

Wednesday turned out to be the most entertaining day of the week: In the morning, employees received emails from executives revealing that Musk would be visiting the San Francisco headquarters that day, “walking the halls, meeting with employees.” folks), and hope that his colleagues who will be present will receive him “warmly and friendly”.

At 11 a.m., Musk entered the Twitter lobby with a sink and tweeted “Let that sink in!”

Let that sink in is a well-known pun on Western social networks, similar to “Well in that case”. Such replies have often appeared under Musk’s tweets before, with the photos below.

It’s not the first time Musk, the bad guy, has played let that sink in. He has publicly stated more than once before that he will dress up as a sink for Halloween, so that when he goes out to ask for candy, others have to open the door…

Image credit: @elonmusk

The aforementioned Bloomberg commentator Levine, who has been tracking the transaction, gave a “high” evaluation of Musk’s move:

Musk’s job is not CEO, but Twitter’s “Chief Twit” (chief tweeter?) – you see, on his first day at the company, the first thing he did was send a good Tweets (referring to sink rotten tweets). This is something Parag Agrawal (former CEO) could never do in his life, not even Jack Dorsey (former CEO, founder, Musk’s good friend).

Musk owns Twitter, that’s right. But he’s also a real Twitter user. He loves Twitter at heart, to the point of being addicted to tweeting. Making good content on Twitter is his way of life.

Wednesday afternoon

At lunchtime, Musk visited a coffee shop in the company’s cafeteria, accompanied by his two-year-old son X Æ (pronounced “X-ash”), biographer Walter Issacson, and several of his staff.

The cafe was immediately surrounded by water. According to the employees present, Musk was blocked answering a large number of questions, staying there for about an hour in total.

Image credit: Image credit: Walter Issacson (Jobs biographer, whose next book will feature Musk)

During the process, someone raised the question of “75% layoffs”, which instantly caused laughter among the people present – just don’t know whether it was a happy or bitter laugh (see video).

Image source: Design image Image source: Internet

Musk embarrassedly said that he “doesn’t know where this number came from, it’s not right anyway” and has no plans to fire so many people. In fact, he said that in order to realize his plan for the Twitter company to develop the Twitter app into a super application, he will instead increase the current headcount (about 8,000 people) based on 50% of the staff. . . .

Video source: Twitter staff present

According to U.S. media citing people present, the question-and-answer session was full of chatter and laughter, and there was no “conflict” imagined by many Twitter employees and outsiders before.

Maybe it’s because he’s saving all the best drama until Thursday.


Thursday, October 27

According to the original plan, Friday was the date of the official settlement, and Thursday was the day when the bank made the payment. But in theory, as long as the money arrives, the transaction can be said to be completed directly.

On Thursday morning, before the deal was officially completed, Musk wrote an open letter to advertisers on the Twitter platform as Twitter boss.

The main content of the letter is to give advertisers a boost in the hope that they will not withdraw from the platform just because they have become the new boss. He wrote in the letter that the acquisition of Twitter is to make it a public “square” for future humanity, leaving room for discourse on all political spectrums and ideologies.

“I didn’t buy Twitter because it was easy, and it wasn’t about making money. I did it in humility to help the people I love, because I know that even with our best efforts, there’s still a lot to this mission. May fail,” he wrote.

Image credit: @elonmusk

On Thursday afternoon, a Twitter employee revealed to the public that, at the behest of Musk, Tesla software engineers have “clouded” Twitter to check the company’s code with the help of Twitter employees.

This situation, although not of much probative significance in itself, means to a large extent that Musk has officially taken over the company and has acquired considerable power.

Image credit: @Edludlow

Around 2:00 p.m., the entire Twitter staff received a calendar invitation for an all-hands meeting at around 4:30 p.m. West in the US.

Before long, the situation escalated further.

At about four or five in the afternoon, news began to spread: Musk came to the company and started to kill.

He fired at least four C-level executives on the spot, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, chief legal officer, policy director…

What is even more exciting is that, according to Reuters, citing people present at the scene:

Agrawal and Segal were in the company office when the appointment and removal order was issued – they were escorted out of the company by security on the spot at Musk’s request…

Image credit: Reuters

However, don’t think that Agrawal and others are miserable. As company executives, they were fired with huge severance payouts.

Take Agrawal as an example. He was just promoted to CEO of the company at the beginning of this year, and he didn’t have time to do anything. Just after a quarter, he was approached by Musk; since the acquisition was initiated, he can say that he has lost the blame except for taking the blame. any other functions.

After this dismissal, Agrawal will receive up to $42 million in severance packages. Nothing was done, money came from the sky – I’m afraid I would laugh out loud in my dreams.

Including Agrawal, executives who were fired “in waves” on Thursday received a total of $880,000 in severance pay.

Image source: Internet

Next, Musk will continue to carry out drastic reforms to Twitter in accordance with his own ideas and designs: although he said in front of Twitter employees that it would be okay to lay off 75% of the workforce – but he had previously held a conference call with investment banks. But it has made it clear that it will not rule out the streamlining and optimization of Twitter’s existing team through layoffs.

From a low-key increase in holdings, to a sudden showdown with the Twitter board, from an excited meeting with the CEO in the morning, to a sudden tear in the face and rejection of a board seat in the afternoon; from initiating acquisitions, to unilaterally withdrawing from transactions, to returning to the negotiating table, from rumored dismissals Most employees, the transaction is officially completed today…

Every action of Musk’s nerve knife has implicated many companies such as Twitter and Tesla, and the rise and fall of stocks and capital flows worth billions or even tens of billions of dollars have also caught thousands of Twitter employees. “Family life”.

But who made Musk be Musk. He seems to use this acquisition to prove one thing: in today’s world, it is difficult for anyone to control him, and he will only play by his own rules.

Maybe this is why Musk has to repeat it again and again: Let that sink in – give up fantasy and accept reality. I’m the boss of Twitter, but I’ll always just be myself.

Image credit: Imgur

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