Twitter moves to reassure staff as report claims Musk wants 75% of workers axed

US

Twitter has told its staff there are no plans for mass redundancies in the wake of a US press report that Elon Musk wants to make 75% of the workforce redundant when his $44bn (£38.4bn) takeover is completed.

The company’s main lawyer sent an email to staff on Thursday evening clarifying its position, according to a source cited by the Reuters news agency.

It was in reaction to a report by the Washington Post that Musk had told prospective investors in his deal to buy Twitter that he planned to get rid of nearly 75% of the 7,500 workers.

It said the information was gleaned from both interviews and documents.

But, the report added that some job cuts were inevitable once the takeover goes through, claiming that there is an existing management plan to slash Twitter’s payroll by about $800m (£715m) by the end of next year.

The Washington Post said that could mean up to a quarter of the workforce losing their jobs.

Twitter is yet to respond to the report.

More on Elon Musk

The claim that mass lay-offs are on the way follow a rocky path for the on-off takeover.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss revealed on 4 October he would proceed with the full offer, made in April, ahead of legal action that Twitter was set to bring against him later this month for going back on the deal.

Musk, a long-time Twitter user who has been critical of its free speech credentials, had attempted to seek better terms on the grounds that the social media company was refusing to divulge the true numbers of spam accounts on the platform.

He argued that left a big question mark hanging over its true market value.

US tech stocks have, since the deal was struck, suffered terribly as the country’s central bank has hiked interest rates in response to the global inflation crisis, with investor cash heading towards the safety of the dollar and government bonds instead.

The crash for shares, in Twitter’s case, saw them head down from $44 (£39) per share on 14 April to as low as $32 (£28) in July when the bid was formally withdrawn.

Read more:
Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is back on – but will he back out for a second time?

The offer price Musk initially agreed to – and paid with help from banks and other investors – was $54.20 (£47) per share.

Twitter’s shares are currently standing at $52.

Financial analysts still think he is overpaying, with some estimates suggesting by up to $20bn (£17.6bn). Others speculated that the turnaround was a further delay tactic.

However, there was consensus that he could have been left with a multibillion-dollar bill had Twitter won its breach of contract case – and been left with nothing to show for it.

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