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Twitter seeks to defend itself against Musk buyout bid by adopting ‘Poison Pill’

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Twitter moved Friday to defend itself against Elon Musk’s $43 billion hostile takeover bid, announcing a “poison pill” plan that would make it harder for the billionaire to get a controlling stake.

Musk’s proposed buyout faces several hazards, including possible rejection and the challenge of assembling the money, but could have significant impacts on the key social media service if consummated.

Twitter said its board unanimously adopted a so-called shareholder rights plan, also known as a “poison pill,” which kicks in if an investor buys more than 15 percent in shares without the directors’ agreement. Musk holds nine percent.

The maneuver makes it harder for a buyer to build too big of a stake without board approval, by triggering an option that allows other investors to buy more of a company’s shares at a discount.

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Twitter said the plan, which experts consider a potent tool against corporate raiders, does not prevent discussing or even agreeing to an acquisition.

Musk sent shockwaves through the tech world on Thursday with an unsolicited bid to buy the company, stating the promotion of freedom of speech on Twitter as a key motive for what he called his “best and final offer.”

The world’s richest person offered $54.20 a share, which values the social media firm at some $43 billion, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He has not directly addressed the poison pill, but tweeted after his bid was announced that the board would face “titanic” legal liability if it goes against the interests of shareholders in rejecting his offer.

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Analyst Dan Ives predicted that the board’s move would “not be viewed positively by shareholders” given both the potential dilution of stock and the signal it sends of hostility towards being bought. He foresaw a “likely” court challenge.

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Musk has already acknowledged he was “not sure” he would succeed and refused to elaborate on a “plan B,” though in the filing he noted a rejection would make him consider selling his existing shares.

He also said he “could technically afford” the buyout while offering no information on financing, though he would likely need to borrow money or part with some of his mountain of Tesla or SpaceX shares.

Some investors had already spoken against the proposal, including businessman and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Morningstar Research analysts echoed that perspective, saying, “While the board will take the Tesla CEO’s offer into consideration, we believe the probability of Twitter accepting it is likely below 50 percent.”

Twitter stock closed down nearly two percent Thursday.

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Musk’s move throws another curve into the roller-coaster ride of his volatile relationship with the global social media service, and raises many questions about what comes next.

He was offered a seat on the board but turned it down over the weekend.

Musk’s shock offer to buy Twitter drew worries — and some cheers — over putting the platform in the hands of a mercurial billionaire who advocates generally for few limits on what users can post.

He provided some detail Thursday on his vision, saying he’d like to lift the veil on the algorithm that runs on the platform, even allowing people to look through it and suggest changes.

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He also reiterated his support for a more hands-off approach to policing the platform, a thorny matter particularly in high-profile cases such as Donald Trump who was banned after the assault on the US Capitol last year.

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Critics argued that free speech absolutism on social media can be very messy in the real world.

“I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter,” tweeted Max Boot, a Washington Post columnist, on Thursday.

“He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less,” Boot added.

Still Musk was rallying support on Twitter, where he has over 81 million followers, for the fight ahead.

“Thanks for the support!” he tweeted in reply to a poll that overwhelming backed his bid.

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FAD boss, Temitope Duker, losses dad, Hon. Ayodele Benjamin

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Honourable Ayodele Benjamin, a distinguished chieftain and party leader of the ruling Lagos All Progressive Congress (APC) political party passed away on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at the age of 78.

Throughout his illustrious life, Hon. Benjamin served his community and country with unwavering dedication and distinction.

His numerous esteemed positions included being elected Councillor in the late 80s, former Vice Chairman, and later Acting Chairman of the Lagos Island Local Government Council, former Chairman of the Lagos Football Association, former Board member of the Lagos State Sports Council, and former State Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party.

Hailing from the esteemed Benjamin family of Olowogbowo in Lagos Island, the late politician left behind a legacy of service and commitment to the betterment of his community. His contributions to public service and sports development will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.

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Until his death, he was also a community leader, philanthropist, and devoted Christian, who worshipped at the Methodist Church Olowogbowo Lagos, a generational church of the Benjamin family.

His dedication to faith and service touched many lives, creating a lasting impact on those around him.

In a statement released on behalf of the family, Hon. Benjamin’s daughter, Mrs. Temitope Duker, a filmmaker and co-founder of FAD MEDIA GROUP, which owns FAD FM 93.1 in Calabar, FAD FM 101.7 in Abuja, and FAD 360TV, announced that final burial details will be communicated in due course following a family meeting.

Hon. Ayodele Benjamin is survived by his loving wife, daughter, and three grandchildren. The family requests that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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ICYMI: No agreement yet on minimum wage – NLC

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ICYMI: No agreement yet on minimum wage – NLC

Organised Labour has rejected President Bola Tinubu’s claims that an agreement has been reached on new national minimum wages in his nationwide broadcast to make Democracy Day.

Tinubu had claimed that a consensus had been reached on the long-debated new minimum wage between the Federal Government and organised labour.

Also read: Minimum wage talks collapse again as Labour rejects N60,000

In his national broadcast to mark the 2024 Democracy Day in Abuja on Wednesday, Tinubu revealed that an executive bill will soon be sent to the National Assembly to formalise the new minimum wage agreement.

The President emphasised that his administration chose a democratic approach over dictatorship in addressing the demands of labour unions.

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However, in a statement on Wednesday, the acting President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said there was no agreement reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage at the time negotiations ended on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Adeyanju stated that rather, two figures such as N250,000 from Organised Labour and N62,000 from the government and Organised Private Sector, were arrived at and ought to have been submitted to the President.

The labour leader asserted that anything to the contrary was not only doctored but won’t be accepted by Labour.

The statement reads, “We reiterate that it will be extremely difficult for Nigerian workers to accept any national minimum wage figure that approximates to a starvation Wage. We cannot be working and yet remain in abject poverty.

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“The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) attentively listened to the Democracy Day Presidential address delivered by His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, especially concerning the ongoing National Minimum Wage negotiations. While the President may have accurately recounted parts of our democratic journey’s history, it is evident that he has been misinformed regarding the outcome of the wage negotiation process.

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“To quote Mr. President; “As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you. In this spirit, we have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less.

“In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict. No one was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution.

“We appreciate the President’s commitment to those fine democratic ideals which allowed the work of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiation Committee to proceed unhindered despite some hiccups. However, we had expected Mr. President to have used this understanding as one of those who were in the vanguard of the struggle with us around the nation to rescue Nigeria from the hands of the military to harmonize the two figures submitted to him by the Tripartite Committee in favour of workers and masses. It would have been a fitting Democracy Day gift.

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“The NLC would have expected that the advisers of the President would have told him that we neither reached any agreement with the federal government and the employers on the base figure for a National Minimum Wage nor on its other components.

“We are therefore surprised at the submission of Mr. President over a supposed agreement. We believe that he may have been misled into believing that there was an agreement with the NLC and TUC. There was none and it is important that we let the President, Nigerians and other national stakeholders understand this immediately to avoid a mix-up in the ongoing conversation around the national minimum wage. We have also not seen a copy of the document submitted to him and will not accept any doctored document.

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“President’s advisers obviously did not tell him the truth that the leaders of the trade unions were intimidated and harassed. It is therefore important that Mr. President understands that we were threatened severally by his operatives perhaps without his consent. Series of media Propaganda calculated to intimidate and harass us were, and, are still being waged against the trade unions by senior officials of this government.

“Fully armed soldiers surrounded us while we were in a negotiation with the Government and despite denials, recent statements by senior officials of the Government reaffirmed our fears contrary to the assurances by the Government. However, we remain assured that the President’s democratic credentials will come to the fore in favour of Nigerian workers and masses.”

This response comes after President Tinubu’s address, which indicated a resolution had been achieved on the wage discussions, thereby causing confusion and discontent among the ranks of Organised Labour.

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The President speaking on his plan to fix the economy so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay and compensation for his endeavour and labour, said, “In this spirit, we have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less.

“In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict.

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“No one was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution.

“Reasoned discussion and principled compromise are hallmarks of democracy. These themes shall continue to animate my policies and interaction with the constituent parts of our political economy.”

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Crime

Inspector sentenced to death for killing phone dealer

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The Delta State High Court sitting at Asaba on Tuesday sentenced Inspector Ubi Ebri of the Nigeria Police Force to death on a murder charge.

The court presided over by Justice C. D. Diai convicted and sentenced the Inspector to death for killing a phone dealer, Mr Onyeka Ibeh, in Asaba.

 

Also read: Delta police arrest inspector for shooting boy during stop and search

 

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Ibeh, a popular phone dealer in Asaba, along with his wife was driving from Ugbolu to Asaba on April 5, 2023, when they were flagged down by the police team for a search.

The deceased was said to have stopped but after waiting for a while to be searched, and they were not being attended to, decided to move away

Infuriated by the action of the deceased, the police inspector immediately opened fire into the vehicle and the bullet hit the late Ibeh on the head and he died on the spot.

The wife of the deceased who sat in the front seat was unhurt.

The killing of the phone dealer led to protests by youths along the streets of Asaba and to police headquarters to demand justice.

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However, the prosecution, led by a director in the Ministry of Justice, Mr E.H. Edema, accused the policeman of killing Ibeh.

Edema alleged that the defendant was part of a police patrol team that mounted a stop and search exercise on April 5, 2023, along the Ugbolu Asaba Road in the state capital.

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Edema who told Journalists after the judgement said, “Today’s judgement is a landmark judgement because justice has been served in this case to the deceased and society at large.”

Also, the elder brother of the deceased, Mr Ifeanyi Ibeh, who witnessed the judgement, also commended the court for delivering justice to his family.

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