Tesla boss backed by Binance, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to buy Twitter – follow live

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<p>Tesla boss Elon Musk has pledged to support free speech and ‘defeat the spam bots’ after Twitter takeover</p>
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Tesla boss Elon Musk has pledged to support free speech and ‘defeat the spam bots’ after Twitter takeover

(Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk has received $7.1 billion from nearly two dozen investors including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and others to fund his purchase of Twitter.

The news comes after the billionaire sold nearly $8.5bn worth of Tesla stock.

Qatar – giving $375,000,000 – and Saudi Arabia will also be financing the deal.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of the board at Kingdom Holding Company and one of Twitter’s largest backers, said he is rolling over his current investment after initially criticizing Mr Musk.

Mr Musk will pay $54.20 cash per share for the San Francisco-based company, which will now be taken private before the end of October.

The board announced it had reached a deal with Mr Musk on Monday, and that it represented a 38 per cent premium from Twitter’s closing price on 1 April, the day before the world’s richest person made his move for the company by announcing his nine per cent stake.

Mr Musk will likely make some significant changes to the social media platform, having made several hints in recent months about what his intentions are. It comes after Musk’s friend Dorsey stepped down as CEO and Parag Agrawal took over.

Changes could include a new CEO, worker layoffs and even monetizing tweets by charging publishers to embed them, according to some reports.

You can follow all the latest news and developments right here.

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Twitter’s former head of engineering comments on Musk’s planned takeover

Alex Roetter, Twitter’s former head of engineering, gave CNBC his views on Elon Musk’s proposed changes on the big tech podcast.

Mr Musk said he wanted to “authenticate all humans”, something that the company has been weighing internally but has always ran into issues around. Twitter has opened, and closed, its verification program numerous times.

Pure anonymity, Mr Roetter said, “foster the worst parts of speech online”, so is in favor of Mr Musk’s program. However, critics have pointed out that anonymity allows people the ability to speak freely – especially for whistleblowers or people in repressive countries – something that ‘free speech absolutionist’ Mr Musk has advocated for.

adam smith5 May 2022 15:00

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Mr Musk has claimed to be a free speech absolutist but countries such as Qatar have been criticized for their repressive laws.

“Qatar already has a host of repressive laws, but this new legislation deals another bitter blow to freedom of expression in the country and is a blatant breach of international human rights law,” said Lynn Maalouf, Research Director for the Middle East at Amnesty International , of a law passed in 2020 that authorizes the imprisonment of “anyone who broadcasts, publishes, or republishes false or biased rumours, statements, or news, or inflammatory propaganda, domestically or abroad, with the intent to harm national interests, stir up public opinion, or infringes on the social system or the public system of the state”.

adam smith5 May 2022 14:10

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Mr Musk is also said to be engaging with certain additional existing shareholders including Twitter co-founder and former chief executive Jack Dorsey, who may roll over his shares

adam smith5 May 2022 14:00

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Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has also committed to providing nearly 35 million shares on Twitter to retain a stake following the company’s takeover by Mr Musk.

This is despite previously criticizing Mr Musk’s takeover.

“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk ($54.20 per share) comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects,” the prince said in a Twitter post on 14 April.

adam smith5 May 2022 13:50

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Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is providing $1 billion. Sequoia has is providing $800 million. VyCapital is providing $700 million, while Binance financed $500 million and Andreessen Horowitz has invested $400 million.

adam smith5 May 2022 13:40

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New filings show how Elon Musk will fund Twitter takeover

A new Securities and Exchange Commission filing provides some insight into how Mr Musk will be purchasing Twitter.

Funders include Binance and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

adam smith5 May 2022 13:30

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Asked what he made of Elon Musk’s purchasing of Twitter, Mr Gates said: “You know, Elon, I guess it’s possible Twitter could be worse. But it also could be better… So I have a wait and see attitude.”

adam smith5 May 2022 12:30

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Bill Gates talks Elon Musk

Bill Gates used to be the world’s richest person. That title is now held by Elon Musk. The two men, however, don’t get on.

But in a new interview with the BBC, Mr Gates says that there’s “no need for him to be nice to me”.

Asked specifically about whether he had bet against Tesla, Mr Gates said that it “has nothing to do with climate change. I have ways of diversifying” and he pushed back against the claim that shorting Tesla was damaging to the environment.

“The popularity of electric cars will lead to more competition for selling those cars. So there’s a difference between electric cars being adopted, and companies becoming infinitely valuable.”

adam smith5 May 2022 11:30

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Elon Musk’s post about NFTs briefly sent a Bored Ape token soaring – before he tweeted mocking the images.

adam smith5 May 2022 09:29

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Elon Musk mocks NFTs

The Tesla chief executive also recently took a shot at NFT buyers, changing his Twitter picture to a compilation of numerous Bored Ape images.

adam smith4 May 2022 15:00

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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