Elon Musk Twitter Deal

Elon Musk sends Twitter stock into a tailspin after announcing that a deal for the site is ‘temporarily on hold.’

Elon Musk sent Twitter’s stock soaring early Friday after claiming that his $44 billion takeover bid was “temporarily on hold” — only to insist hours later that he was “still committed” to the deal.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted at 5:44 a.m. on Friday.

Twitter’s stock then fell more than 25% in pre-market trading to as low as $33.79, far below Musk’s marijuana-themed purchase price of $54.20, indicating investors were betting the deal would fall through.

Then, at 7:50 a.m., Musk tweeted again, saying he was “still committed to acquisition.”

Twitter’s stock recovered some of its losses and was trading near $40 shortly before the markets opened on Friday morning. This is still about 11% lower than where they ended on Thursday.

Following the first tweet, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimated that Wall Street investors now believe the deal has a less than 50% chance of closing. He went on to say that Musk’s tweet was a “Twitter circus show,” because Wall Street is likely to see this deal as “likely falling apart” or “Musk negotiating for a lower deal price.”

Ives speculated that Musk may be attempting to rearrange the financing of the deal so that he does not have to rely on leveraged shares of his electric car company, Tesla. Concerns about Musk’s takeover of Twitter, as well as a broader tech sell-off, have sent Tesla shares down 29 percent in the last month.

Musk could also simply walk away from the deal and pay a $1 billion breakup fee, according to Ives.

“Many will interpret this as Musk using these Twitter filing/spam accounts to get out of this deal in a rapidly changing market,” he said.

Musk’s first tweet included a link to a Reuters article from May 2 that cited a Twitter regulatory filing.

According to Reuters, “Twitter Inc estimated in a filing on Monday that false or spam accounts represented less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter.”

Musk has stated that if the deal goes through, one of his top priorities for Twitter will be to crack down on spam accounts and bots.

Investors have had to weigh Musk’s legal problems against the possibility that acquiring the platform would be a distraction from running the world’s most valuable automaker.

Twitter announced on Thursday that it was halting most hiring except for mission-critical positions, adding that “we are pulling back on non-labor costs to ensure we are being responsible and efficient.”