Twitter board’s “fool me thrice” risk

2 minute read

SpaceX founder Elon Musk reacts at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/

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NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk isn’t the most reliable merger partner. The billionaire Tesla (TSLA.O) boss is getting cold feet about his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter (TWTR.N). The board of the social media firm would be foolish to tango with him – again – on different terms.

Musk has been harping on Twitter’s user figures, saying on Tuesday that he cannot move forward until the company offers more clarity. Twitter said it’s committed to enforcing the merger agreement.

But the company’s board is in a difficult spot. If Musk decides to pull out of the deal, they might have to duke it out in court. An alternative is renegotiating read more buyout terms, which Musk has also floated.

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But that could burn directors again. He already wanted on and then off the board. Then he offered to buy the company but isn’t so sure now. With the future of the firm – not to mention their own reputations – at stake, Twitter’s board cannot be fooled thrice read more . (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his / her own.)

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