Elon Musk goes into full goblin mode

Elon Musk goes into full goblin mode

The goblin is serious.

Why it matters: The richest man alive – someone formerly compared to Marvel’s Iron Man – is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain who has seemingly unlimited resources with which to fund his mischief.

The big picture: Elon Musk has decided he wants to take Twitter private for $54.20 per share, assuming he can get “probable funding.”

  • In a 138-word offer letter Musk writes to Twitter CEO Bret Taylor, who uses the word “I” or “my” 11 times, that “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”

Flashback: Elon Musk recently described himself as “in goblin mode” when he took a 9.1% stake in Twitter and started tweeting maniacally about things like the HQ’s conversion into a homeless shelter.

Threat Level: Musk can be a very dangerous animal when Goblin Mode is activated.

  • You will hear a lot more about this offer than about a normal proposed M&A deal, in large part because journalists get together on Twitter and do a lot of their work, and they really don’t want to work in Elon Musk’s private playpen.

Reality check: Musk claims his offer is “the best and final,” which will make it easier for Twitter’s board to decline.

  • Twitter shares were trading above the proposed takeover price as recently as October, and while Musk is close to Twitter co-founder and board member Jack Dorsey, it’s hard to imagine that he would have any level of goodwill on Twitter’s board to favor acceptance would be his (extremely vague) offer.

The bottom line: “There will be distractions” wrote Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal after Musk decided not to join the Twitter board. This result was widely considered to represent a low-probability worst-case scenario. Now it is here.