Elon Musk has given fresh fuel to speculation he would launch a tender offer for Twitter Inc. shares in the event that the board resists his proposal to acquire 100% of the company and take it private.
The 50-year-old billionaire Tesla Inc. and SpaceX chief tweeted a cryptic message with blank space for a word followed by the phrase “is the Night.” The missing language may be “Tender,” as per the F. Scott Fitzgerald book title, or it could be “Tonight,” as Musk used seven underscores for the blank space.
His habitual style on the social platform has been to express himself through web memes and implications, having previously tweeted “seize the memes of production” in the time between his initial investment in Twitter and the SEC filing that made it public.
He’s also shown a fondness for 420 references to pot smoking, including with his offer of $54.20 a share. His post may also have been a reference to the date, April 20.
Twitter’s share price jumped by 27% when Musk announced he had acquired a 9.2% stake at the start of this month and he later escalated his interest with an unsolicited $43 billion proposal to take the company private. Twitter’s board has yet to give a formal response, but has begun taking defensive steps to prevent a takeover, including a poison pill provision.
Musk had earlier posted a tweet with “Love Me Tender,” bracketed by musical notes.
Musk’s most recent public message before the hint about a potential tender bid addressed the issue of moderation online, saying “a social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy” in another tweet. He has garnered a following of more than 82 million users on the service and has tweeted more than 17 000 times, with his recent messages focusing on Twitter itself and how it could be improved.