Shares of Twitter were largely flat on Thursday after Tesla’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, offered to buy the company and take it private for roughly $43 billion, a move that some analysts think is just the beginning of a hostile takeover, while others remain highly skeptical .
Twitter’s stock jumped as much as 3% before paring back gains, following Musk’s all-cash offer of $54.20 per share to acquire the rest of the company—days after he disclosed a 9% stake, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential… I will unlock it,” Musk wrote in a letter attached to the SEC filing that outlines his plans to make it “the platform for free speech,” adding that if the offer is not accepted, he would need to “Reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
Despite the Tesla billionaire’s grand takeover bid, which he claims is his “best and final offer,” the initial reaction from Wall Street analysts was mixed, with some remaining skeptical about whether Twitter would actually accept an offer, while others say that Musk won’ t stop until he owns 100% of the company.
Investment firm CFRA downgraded Twitter to a “hold” from a “buy” rating on Thursday, saying the offer price should be “enticing to shareholders” and will be “difficult to reject,” given that Musk is not likely to make a better offer .
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, meanwhile, believes that the “soap opera” will end with Musk owning the company after an “aggressive hostile takeover,” adding that it would be highly unlikely that any other bidders can make an offer “at this price level. ”
This could be another “publicity stunt” or “diversion tactic,” Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling told The Financial Timespointing out that Musk could be distracting attention from other issues such as Tesla’s closed factory in China.