Elon Musk posts cryptic ‘Love Me Tender’ tweet as Twitter battle escalates

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An ambiguous reference to an Elvis Presley song released in 1956 could offer a hint at the next stage of Elon Musk’s effort to buy Twitter.

Musk sparked renewed speculation about his plans when he tweeted “Love Me Tender” on Saturday. The tweet came hours after Twitter’s board enacted a “poison pill” provision aimed at limiting Musk’s ability to acquire a larger stake in the company.

In another tweet, Musk posted an upside-down smiley face emoji while resurfacing a 2017 thread in which he asked how much it would cost to buy Twitter outright.

While Musk provided no further details in the posts, the throwback Elvis reference is a potential signal that the billionaire is considering a hostile bid to bypass Twitter’s board and make a direct offer to company shareholders.

With a so-called tender offer, a prospective buyer pursues a takeover by publicly asking shareholders to sell their stock at a specific price.

The poison pill provision – a defensive tactic frequently employed during takeover battles – would flood the market with discounted Twitter shares if Musk acquired more than 15% of the company. Musk currently owns an approximately 9% stake.

Musk has demanded that Twitter’s board allow shareholders to decide whether to accept his offer – a potential precursor to a formal tender offer for control of the company.

“It would be utterly indefensible not to put this offer to a shareholder vote. They own the company, not the board of directors,” Musk tweeted last week, hours after his offer went public.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk has hinted he has a plan B if Twitter rejects his offer.
TED Conferences, LLC/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter’s board has yet to make a final decision on Musk’s initial offer to buy the company for approximately $43 billion. But Musk rejected a seat on the company’s board after clashing with current management about Twitter’s future direction.

During an appearance at a TED Talk conference in Vancouver last week, Musk said he has a “plan B” to employ if Twitter rejects his offer, though he has yet to reveal the alternate path.

Musk would likely need to partner to fund a tender offer, which is generally proposed at a premium to a company’s current stock price. Twitter shares hovered near $45 before the opening bell Monday.

And Musk already faces competition from other firms interested in acquiring Twitter. As The Post reported, private equity giant Thoma Bravo is working on a possible bid for the company.



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