(Bloomberg) —Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk kept investors in the dark this weekend, floating a cryptic tweet with the word “tender,” a likely wink-and-nod reference to a potential tender offer to Twitter Inc. shareholders for control of the company.
The world’s richest person caused a stir last week after he filed a US$43 billion proposal offering US$54.20 a share for the social network, which led Twitter to adopt a so-called poison-pill provision on Friday to make it harder for Musk or a group of investors to acquire more shares.
If Twitter directors ultimately reject him, the world could learn whether Musk was truly threatening a direct appeal to shareholders or had just added the 1956 Elvis Presley hit “Love Me Tender” to his playlist.
Musk may try to partner with investors including Oracle Corp., given that its co-founder Larry Ellison is on Tesla Inc.’s board, along with a group of private equity firms including Thoma Bravo, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Mandeep Singh and Ashley Kim wrote Friday. That partnership could raise the bid to US50 billion, they wrote.
An acquisition is far from certain even without the poison-pill provision and defensive tactics from the company’s board. Musk said at an April 14 TED conference that he is “unsure” if he’ll actually be able to acquire the company, adding that he has a back-up plan, without offering details.