ZINGER KEY POINTS
- Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Elon Musk likely to away from Twitter deal
- Ives says bot issue likely a scapegoat to call off deal or negotiate lower price
- Musk estimates spam accounts make up at least 20% off all users
Tesla Inc CEO ElonMusk is likely using the bots issue as a scapegoat to walk away from his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc or negotiate a lower price, according to WedbushSecurities analyst Dan Ives.
“A changing stock market/risk environment the last month, and a number of other financing factors have caused Musk to get “cold feet” on the Twitter deal, with the bot issue not a new [one] and likely more of a scapegoat to push for a lower price,” Ives wrote in a note.
“The elephant in the room for the Twitter board is Musk can walk away for a $1 billion as a small breakup fee … and likely cite the bot/fake account issue as the reason, even though this likely would be contested by Twitter in the courts.”
The development follows Musk’s comments at a Miami tech conference where he said a Twitter deal at a lower price would not be “out of the question.”
The world’s richest man last week said the agreement is currently on hold as he questioned Twitter’s publicly disclosed data on the number of spam and fake accounts on its platform.
The Bots Clash:
Musk on Monday estimated that fake users make up at least 20% of all Twitter accounts, likely prompting CEO Parag Agrawal to share his take on the issue.
Musk plans to take Twitter private, a platform where he has promised to return free speech and debate. The deal is expected to close later this year once shareholders and regulators give their approval.
Effect On Tesla Stock:
Ives said the two scenarios — Musk lowering his price or ditching the deal — remove some of the Twitter overhangs as his selling stock fears take a rest.
The analyst maintained an “outperform” rating on Tesla’s shares.
Twitter shares closed 8.8% lower at $37.39 on Monday, while Tesla’s closed 5.8% lower at $724.37.
Originally Posted May 17, 2022 – Elon Musk Getting ‘Cold Feet’ On Twitter Deal? Analyst Says Bots Issue An Excuse To Lower Price Or Walk Away
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