Twitter shares fall after Elon Musk says deal is on hold

Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter is on hold, raising questions about a takeover.


David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

Shares of

Twitter Inc.

TWTR -8.30%

fell in midday trading Friday after

Elon Musk

said his deal to buy the social media company has been kept.

Shares of Twitter fell 6.9% to $41.99, on pace to close at its lowest level since early April, just ahead of Mr. Musk. revealed a surprise 9% stake in company.

Mr. Musk, chief executive officer of

Tesla Inc.

TSLA 7.31%

last month reached an agreement to buy Twitter and keep it private, capped off a tumultuous month for the social media company and its stock. But on Friday morning, he tweeted, “Twitter temporarily resolves withholding pending details supporting calculations that spam/fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users .” He linked to a May 2 Reuters report on a recent Twitter stock profile with those stats.

Twitter stock fell as much as 26% in pre-market trading Friday, to $33.51, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Late Friday morning, Mr Musk added on Twitter that he “remains committed” to the acquisition. That helped Twitter cut its losses.

However, Twitter’s stock is currently trading about 23% below its trading price of $54.20 per share. The company’s shares have fallen recently, reflecting investor anxiety about the prospect of the deal. Like many tech stocks, Twitter has also been hit hard by the widespread market sell-off of risky assets recently.

Tesla shares were up 5.8% in midday trading Friday.

Tesla shares have fallen since Twitter accepted Musk’s buyout offer. Mr. Musk plans to borrow against his Tesla shares to finance the deal. Tesla investors also worry that owning Twitter could distract Musk from running Tesla.

Elon Musk has cultivated close ties with Beijing to build Tesla’s business in China. Now that he’s buying Twitter and focusing on free speech, the WSJ looks at how China has used the social media platform to promote its views and why that has raised concerns. Photo illustration: Sharon Shi

Write to Caitlin McCabe at [email protected]

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