Elon Musk says he’s ‘paying too much’ for Twitter but still believes in its incredible potential

In short: Elon Musk has shed some light on his takeover of Twitter and the $44 billion it’s costing him. The world’s richest person praised the platform’s incredible potential, but admitted he was “clearly paying too much” for the company.

Speaking on Tesla’s earnings call yesterday, Musk addressed the longstanding and controversial Twitter deal that was first announced in April. After the automaker’s CEO pulled out of the acquisition following claims that Twitter was lying about the number of fake accounts/bots on the site, Musk finally agreed to make the purchase at the original price of 54, $20 per share earlier this month, making the whole deal worth around $44 billion.

“While of course I and other investors are obviously paying too much for Twitter right now, Twitter’s long-term potential is in my test an order of magnitude greater than its current value,” Musk said in a call. transcribed by Tim Levin of Insider.

Interestingly, there are reports that Musk and Twitter almost agreed to reduce the acquisition price to $50 per share, but the company allegedly made additional demands as part of the discount that Musk’s lawyers didn’t. would not accept.

After Twitter sued Musk in response to his withdrawal from the deal, the billionaire slammed the company, accusing it of lying about the number of fake accounts populating the platform. He even challenged CEO Parag Agrawal to participate in a public debate on the issue.

“I’m excited about where Twitter is, because I obviously know their product incredibly well,” he said. “And I think that’s an asset that’s been languishing for a long time but has incredible potential. »

Shortly after it was revealed that the Twitter acquisition was back on track, Musk asked the presiding judge in the legal proceedings between the two, Kathaleen McCormick, to stay all litigation as he seeks funding for the agreement. McCormick accepted the request. Twitter’s lawyers weren’t happy, but the judge added a caveat: Both sides have until 5 p.m. on Oct. 28 to close the deal, or the trial will begin next month. This period is only eight days.

But Musk’s comments suggest the deal is moving ever closer to completion. Another possible sign that the saga could be coming to an end came on Monday when Twitter froze the ability of its staff to access or trade stocks on its Equity Award Center. A test on the employee FAQ said, “This freeze allows Schwab to perform the final reconciliation of employee accounts before the acquisition closes. »

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