Elon Musk says still ‘unresolved matters’ with proposed $44bn buyout of Twitter, predicts recession in near term ‘more likely than not’
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said there are still a few “unresolved matters” with regard to his proposed takeover of Twitter, including the number of fake accounts on the site and how the debt portion of the $44 billion (£36bn) deal will be arranged.
Speaking via video link at the Bloomberg-hosted Qatar Economic Forum, Musk said he was “still awaiting resolution” regarding the proportion of bot users on Twitter and Twitter’s claim they represent less than 5 percent of its daily active base.
The bot issue is “a very significant matter”, he said.
Economy and Tesla cuts
“And then of course, there’s the question of, will the, the debt portion of the round come together? And then will the shareholders vote in favour?”
Regarding the probability of an economic recession, Musk said it was “more likely than not” that one would occur “in the near term”, but that it was “not a certainty”.
Last week the US Federal Reserve made its biggest increase to interest rates since 1994 in an effort to combat inflation.
Earlier this month Musk told Tesla executives in an email to cut 10 percent of the company’s headcount, saying he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy.
In a later email to all Tesla staff he clarified that the 10 percent cuts would only affect salaried staff, saying the company had become overstaffed following a long growth phase.
The cuts, taking place over the next three months, would amount to only about 3.5 percent of Tesla’s overall workforce, he said at the Doha forum, describing them as “not super material”.
“Hourly headcount will increase”, he said in the email, adding that “a year from now, I think our headcount will be higher in both salaried and obviously in hourly”.
Salaried workers make up about two-thirds of Tesla’s overall headcount, he said in the email.
However, a report from electric vehicle news site Electrek said a fresh round of layoffs beginning on 16 June had also affected hourly staff in sales and delivery teams.
Two former workers at a Tesla battery plant in Nevada sued the company this week over the layoffs, saying they were conducted without a federally mandated notice period.