Twitter Stock Falls After Elon Musk Says Deal Is 'On Hold'

Twitter Stock Falls After Elon Musk Says Deal Is ‘On Hold’

Elon Musk said his deal to buy Twitter was on hold, raising questions about the takeover.


Photo:

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Shares of Twitter Inc.

TWTR -9.72%

fell in afternoon trading Friday after Elon Musk said his deal to buy the social-media company was “on hold.”

Shares of Twitter shed 10% to $40.59, on pace to close at the lowest level since early April, just before Mr. Musk disclosed a surprise 9% stake in the company.

Mr. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc..

TSLA 5.71%

, last month struck a deal to buy Twitter and take it private, capping a topsy-turvy month for the social-media company and its stock. But on Friday morning, he tweeted, “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” He linked to a May 2 Reuters report about a recent Twitter securities filing with those statistics.

Twitter shares fell as much as 26% in premarket trading Friday, to $33.51, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Later Friday morning, Mr. Musk added on Twitter that he was “still committed” to the acquisition. That helped Twitter trim its losses.

Still, Twitter’s shares are now trading about 25% below the deal price of $54.20 a share. Shares of the company had already been falling recently, reflecting investor worries about the outlook for the deal. Like many technology stocks, Twitter has also been hit hard lately by a broad market selloff of riskier assets.

Tesla shares jumped 5.5% Friday.

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

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

Write to Caitlin McCabe at caitlin.mccabe@wsj.com

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