Longtime Elon Musk backer says Twitter deal will close at lower price

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A longtime investor in Elon Musk’s companies predicts the mogul’s Twitter takeover bid will close — but not until the Tesla titan negotiates a lower price. 

Tim Draper, an early investor in Tesla and SpaceX who co-founded a venture capital firm that’s sinking $100 million into Musk’s Twitter bid, was asked Monday whether he thought Musk would successfully close the deal. 

“I think so,” Draper responded. “But I think he’s going to get a better deal because he found out that, whatever, two-thirds [of users] are bots or something.” 

While Twitter officially accepted a $44 billion offer from Musk in April, the Tesla CEO has since pumped the brakes on his takeover bid over alleged concerns related to fake accounts and spam. Musk had offered $54.20 a share but the stock was trading at around $37 on Monday.

On Friday, Musk said the deal was “temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users” — before insisting hours later that he was “still committed” to the buyout. 

Then on Monday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal posted a thread about steps the company is taking to measure and take down bots. Musk then responded with a smiling poop emoji. 

Some analysts have speculated that Musk is using the spam issue as a negotiating tactic, while others say he’s gotten cold feet and is looking for a way to get out of the deal altogether.

Draper — a longtime bitcoin bull who has also invested in Skype, Coinbase and Elizabeth Holmes’ defunct blood startup Theranos — said Musk will go forward with buying Twitter because he believes in free speech. 

“I think he believes — and weirdly Jack Dorsey believed — in free speech,” said Draper during an interview with Fox Business’ Liz Claman at the Token Security Summit in Manhattan. “And he’s sort of terrified they are — Twitter is — sort of the arbiters of what people are allowed to say. And I think he just went in and said, ‘You know, I can buy it.’ And he just is going to. I think that’s basically what happened.” 

Draper co-founded a venture capital firm called Draper Fisher Jurvetson, but left the firm in 2013. A spin-off of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, called DFJ Growth, is contributing $100 million to Musk’s Twitter bid alongside other investors, including Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal al Said. 

Twitter
“He’s sort of terrified they are — Twitter is — sort of the arbiters of what people are allowed to say,” Draper said of Musk.
Getty Images

It’s unclear whether Draper played any role in DFJ Growth joining Musk’s Twitter bid. DFJ Growth did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Draper also predicted that the current crypto market bloodbath will soon give way to a rally. He made the bold claim that bitcoin, which was trading at $29,900 on Monday afternoon, would hit $250,000 by the end of 2022 or early 2023. 

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