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Tesla CEO Musk hints at ‘moving on’ from Twitter takeover bid, days after filing documents with SEC

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a cryptic post on Twitter early Sunday morning, saying he was ‘moving on’ in what many first believed was a reference to his ongoing takeover bid of the social media giant – before the tech titan said the message meant he was done making fun of billionaire rival Bill Gates.

‘Moving on …’ Musk tweeted to his more than 83 million followers, leaving many in the lurch as to what he was moving on from for several hours on Sunday.

The post had over 136,000 likes, 11,000 retweets and more than 2,400 quote tweets from as of Sunday morning.

Later in the day, Musk clarified the tweet saying ‘moving on’ was in reference to ‘making fun of Gates for shorting Tesla while claiming to support climate change action.’

Gates, the world’s third richest man after Musk and Jeff Bezos, took a shot earlier this year at the Tesla CEO after the electric vehicle maker announced taking a $1.5 billion stake in Bitcoin.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be getting cold feet over his proposed Twitter takeover, after cryptically tweeting 'moving on' on Sunday

Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be getting cold feet over his proposed Twitter takeover, after cryptically tweeting ‘moving on’ on Sunday

Gates, the world's third richest man after Musk and Jeff Bezos, took a shot earlier this year at the Tesla CEO after the electric vehicle maker announced taking a $1.5 billion stake in Bitcoin

Gates, the world’s third richest man after Musk and Jeff Bezos, took a shot earlier this year at the Tesla CEO after the electric vehicle maker announced taking a $1.5 billion stake in Bitcoin 

‘Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down,’ Gates told Bloomberg on Thursday.

‘I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare, so I’m not bullish on Bitcoin. My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out,’ he said.

Gates has also previously made comments about electric trucks like the Tesla Semi not being viable, which Musk countered.

In an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience, Musk said he believes that the Microsoft founder had a big short position on Tesla stocks at one point.

‘I heard that at one point he had a large short position. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it seems weird,’ Musk told Rogan.

‘People I know who know the situation pretty well, I asked them “are you sure?” and they said “yes, he has a huge short position on Tesla.” That didn’t work out too well.’

Musk tweeted this dig at Bill Gates Friday night, comparing the Microsoft founder's paunch to that of the controversial pregnant man emoji

Musk tweeted this dig at Bill Gates Friday night, comparing the Microsoft founder’s paunch to that of the controversial pregnant man emoji 

Musk most recently had made fun of Gates’ gut on Twitter on Saturday, posting a photo of the Microsoft mogul alongside Apple’s controversial pregnant man emoji ‘in case you need to kill a boner.’

Musk, the world’s richest person, posted a follow-up image in response to the Friday post of six hooded figured captioned ‘shadow ban council reviewing Tweet.’

The lowbrow joke could further infuriate woke Twitter staffers angered by Musk’s ongoing bid to buy the firm after saying he’d take a hardline stance supporting free speech.

Musk made the vague proclamation days after he filed documents Thursday with the SEC.

He had previously committed $21 billion in equity, $13 billion from Morgan Stanley in debt facilities and another $12.5 billion from the bank and others in margin loans.

But ‘a portion’ of his shares in Tesla have been put forward as collateral, which analysts feared could have a huge impact on the firm. 

The 50-year-old billionaire also revealed Thursday he was weighing up launching a tender offer for Twitter after the company ignored his acquisition offer.

He said he was exploring getting stocks directly from shareholders but admitted he ‘has not determined whether to do so at this time’.

The move signals Musk ramping up his commitment to seizing Twitter after weeks of back and forth between the entrepreneur and company.

Earlier this week, the social media giant filed its ‘poison pill’ defense with the SEC in a last-ditch attempt to prevent him from increasing his stake in the firm further.

Musk, the world’s richest man, currently owns a 9.2 per cent stake in the tech giant and is trying to take it private with an unsolicited bid of $54.20 per share. 

In a Twitter poll taken by nearly 20,000 users, 73 percent wanted Musk to purchase Twitter, while another 27 percent were opposed to it. 

Meanwhile, Twitter’s share price closed 0.77 per cent up at $47.08 on Thursday, as speculation continues to rumble as to whether Musk’s audacious bid will be successful.

Elon Musk’s attempted hostile takeover of Twitter timeline:

  • January 31: Musk starts buying Twitter shares ‘almost daily’
  • April 4: The billionaire reveals he has a nine per cent stake in the tech giant
  • April 5: Twitter offers him a seat on the board of directors – as long as he does not own more than 14.9 per cent. He initially accepts the offer
  • April 8: Vanguard Group reveals it has a larger, 10.3 per cent, stake in Twitter, meaning Musk is no longer largest shareholder
  • April 9: Musk rejects seat on Twitter’s board on the day he is meant to join
  • April 10: CEO Agrawal announces Musk declined to join the board in a statement
  • April 12: Investor Marc Bain Rasella files lawsuit against Musk in NYC over ‘failing to report his Twitter share purchases to the SEC’ in time
  • April 14: The Tesla founder offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion
  • April 14: Twitter stocks plummet after hostile takeover bid
  • April 15: Twitter board mounts a ‘poison pill’ strategy against Musk
  • April 16:  Musk tweets ‘Love Me Tender’ as he again teased at the possibility of a hostile takeover of Twitter
  • April 17: Musk agreed with a tweet saying the ‘game is rigged’ if he can’t buy Twitter
  • April 18: Jack Dorsey has slammed the board of Twitter for ‘plots and coups’ that were ‘consistently the dysfunction of the company’ 
  • April 18: The social media giant files its ‘poison pill’ defense with the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • April 21: Musk files SEC document unveiling how he will fund takeover bid
  • April 24: Must tweets ‘moving on’ in reference to poking fun at Bill Gates

 

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