Elon Musk's Twitter takeover expected to be agreed within hours
Twitter is reportedly on the verge of agreeing a takeover by Elon Musk.
Twitter's board and Mr Musk negotiated into the early hours of Monday over his bid to buy the platform, The New York Times reported, and shares were up 5% on Monday as speculation mounted that a deal was close.
The Wall Street Journal was among outlets suggesting an announcement could come before the US markets closed while Reuters said it understood that there was no other offer on the table for the board to consider.
In a signal that the World's richest man thought an agreement was in the bag, he tweeted: "I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."
He has offered to buy the social network for $43bn (£33.5bn) and placed the right to uphold free speech at the forefront of his argument for a deal, accusing Twitter of failing its users to date.
Twitter recently adopted a "poison pill" strategy in an attempt to resist a hostile takeover, but some investors wanted the tech giant to seriously consider his offer.
Musk previously described his offer of $54.20 per share as "best and final" though the board may have extracted some additional cash from him.
One fund manager invested in Twitter told Reuters: "I wouldn't be surprised to wake up next week and see Musk raise what he called his best and final offer to possibly $64.20 per share."
Musk argues that the social network needs to be taken private in order to grow and become a genuine platform for free speech.
The billionaire also wants to tackle other issues facing the social network, such as the proliferation of bots who distribute spam messages.
And he's pondered adding new features including an edit button, as well as reducing Twitter's reliance on advertising and allowing longer tweets to be posted.
Twitter's stock was trading at $48.93 as of Friday's close on Wall Street, meaning Musk's offer represents a 10% premium on that price.
Some hedge funds believe it amounts to a good deal - and argue that concerns over inflation and an economic slowdown mean that Twitter's stock is unlikely to be worth more than $54.20 any time soon.
But long-term shareholders argue that Twitter is worth much more - and just six months ago, the stock was trading at $62.11.
In other developments, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Twitter is re-examining Musk's offer - not least because the billionaire now has financing for a deal.
According to the media outlet, both sides met on Sunday to discuss the proposal - and the social network "is more likely than before to seek to negotiate".
Musk has also met privately with several Twitter shareholders to highlight potential benefits of his takeover.
Connor Sephton, news reporter & James Sillars, business reporter. (2022, April 25). Elon Musk's Twitter takeover expected to be agreed within hours. Sky News. https://news.sky.com/story/twitter-under-pressure-to-reach-deal-with-elon-musk-as-both-sides-meet-to-discuss-takeover-plan-12598489