Twitter strikes Elliott deal keeping Dorsey safe - Mobile World Live

Twitter strikes Elliott deal keeping Dorsey safe

09 MAR 2020

Twitter struck partnership agreements with Elliott Management and private equity group Silver Lake, handing both companies seats on its board in an effort to appease investor unrest.

The move, announced in a statement, comes shortly after it emerged Elliott Management had taken a 4 per cent stake in Twitter, and was pushing for changes including the removal of Jack Dorsey as CEO.

It appears Elliott Management has, however, agreed for Dorsey to remain at the helm for now, as part of some sort of ceasefire.

The companies described their partnership as a “cooperation agreement” which will see Jesse Cohn, partner at Elliott Management, appointed to Twitter’s board.

Previously Elliott Management had proposed the appointment of four new directors, while taking aim at Dorsey and Twitter’s overall performance.

On the latter point, along with the cooperation agreement, Twitter will push through a $2 billion share repurchase programme, funded from cash on hand and a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake.

Silver Lake, a private equity company focused on technology investments, will provide certain advisory, strategic and consulting services.

Egon Durban, co-CEO and managing partner of Silver Lake will also join Twitter’s board.

Twitter is looking at appointing a third new independent director, focusing on candidates possessing deep technology and AI expertise.

Keeping quiet
As part of the agreement, Twitter added neither Elliott Management or Silver Lake “will comment on or influence, or attempt to influence, directly or indirectly” any Twitter policies or rules.

The stipulation could be crucial to Elliott Management and Twitter’s future relationship: the hedge fund has a reputation of instigating aggressive shake-ups in the companies it invests in.

In its statement, Dorsey said Silver Lake’s investment represented “a strong vote of confidence in our work and our path forward”.

“Twitter serves the public conversation and our purpose has never been more important,” he added.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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