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Musk’s 9 steps to buying Twitter, plus the $1 billion he owes if the deal sours

Elon Musk this week become the sole owner of social network, Twitter. Here he is pictured in 2020 when as Spacex founder he celebrates the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Picture by Joe Raedle/ Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Elon Musk this week become the sole owner of social network, Twitter. Here he is pictured in 2020 when as Spacex founder he celebrates the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Picture by Joe Raedle/ Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Published Apr 28, 2022

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It was 2017. It was a casual tweet by Elon Musk on his Twitter portfolio. “I love Twitter”

A tweep retorted: “Why don’t you buy it.”

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“How much is it going for?” he asked.

And no one thought anything about it again. It was a bit of light banter after all...or not?

The seed it seems, however, was planted and five years later Musk - at a cost of $44 billion (R690bn) is the sole owner of the social media platform.

While to some, Musk’s buying of Twitter may seem like an overnight thing - well a less-than-a-month event - it seems from this tweet it actually began in 2017.

The buyout deal, which takes the company private, is to many the cherry on the top of a whirlwind month in which Musk became one of Twitter's largest shareholders, was offered and then turned down a seat on its board and then went on to bid to buy the company.

However it’s not like the world’s richest person woke up one day and decided to buy the platform and did so inside a month (or is it?).

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Like with most success stories, a seed is planted, and then when watered and fed, it grows into something tangible.

Here is a rough guide to Musk’s timeline of owning Twitter:

December 2017 Musk casually tweets that he loves Twitter and then asks how much it would be to buy the whole company.

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May 2018 Musk irritated by how things are going on Twitter says he will launch a website called Pravda - the Russian word for Truth.

March 28, 2022 Musk tweets that he is “giving serious thought” to building his own social media platform.

April 4, 2022 Musk discloses be bought a 9.3% stake in Twitter making him its largest shareholder

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April 5, 2022 He is offered a seat at the board which he declines.

April 14, 2022 Musk makes his offer to buy Twitter for $43bn.

April 15, 2022 Twitter’s board adopt a “poison pill” defence that prevents unwanted takeovers.

April 21, 2022 Musk, following entrepreneurship 101, isn’t using all of his own money to acquire Twitter and he manages to secure funding for his proposed purchase. Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions commit to providing him with $13bn in financing, along with $12.5bn in margin loans, against his shares in Tesla and other companies. Musk will provide equity financing of approximately $21bn on his own.

April 25, 2022 Twitter accepts Musk’s offer.

April 27, 2022 IANS reports that a new filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states if Musk's financing falls through, Twitter will get $1bn as compensation and vice versa if Twitter terminate the deal, they will have to pay Musk $1bn.

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