Launching a new brand of corporate takeover, Elon Musk toyed with the financial world in a recent tweet that could mean just about anything.
Tucked between tweets wishing the world a happy Easter and touting the achievements of one of his companies, SpaceX, Musk found time to tweet “Love Me Tender.”
🎶 Love Me Tender 🎶
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2022
The meaning could be rooted in the lyrics of the old Elvis Presley tune or, as CNBC noted, could mean a tender offer is coming up as Musk teaches the world new dance steps for the corporate takeover.
A tender offer is usually what takes place when someone trying to amass stock in a company offers to pay stockholders a set price if they sell him their shares. Given that Musk has already made a very public offer to buy Twitter stock, that classic meaning may fit — or Musk may shape it into something very different.
Twitter’s board has signaled to date that it plans to fight Musk, although it is uncertain how long that battle will last.
It was Forbes, commenting on the spectacle of Musk’s use of social media as he sidled up to his prey, that called his approach a “new type of takeover warfare.”
Writer Abram Brown said that “Musk’s takeover attempt is, truly, unlike any other in the 40 years or so these things have been going on.”
“This is totally weird and unusual. Sure you’ve got some other takeovers lately, like Jos. A. Bank trying to merge with Men’s Warehouse,” said Carliss Chatman, a professor of corporate law at William and Lee. “But this is some rich megalomaniac trying to buy something and treating it all like playing with a toy.”
Brown said so far, Twitter seems a step behind.
“Twitter HQ has seemed pained to meet Musk on this novel battleground, ironically, one it helped create. (It declined to comment for this story.) While Musk on Monday tweeted about how he intended to cut board members’ pay to $0 if he takes control, Twitter made a lengthy filing with the SEC detailing its poison pill measure,” he wrote.
Twitter’s board was recently scolded by former Securities and Exchange chairman Harvey Pitt for its bumbling.
“I would give Twitter’s board an F,” Pitt said according to Yahoo Finance.
“I believe under the circumstances, they needed to check out whether this was a real bid. If it were a real bid, then they needed to do what was in the best interest of their shareholders.”
Musk’s offer was “a price that hadn’t been seen in quite some time. The number is at least a legitimate frame of reference, and the board’s unwillingness to treat it seriously strikes me as worthy of a poor grade,” he said.
As noted by Fox Business, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently called the board “the dysfunction of the company.”