Kevin O’Leary just weighed in on Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter deal — and he’s siding with the world’s richest person.
The “Shark Tank” investor told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday that he predicts Musk’s $44 billion offer to acquire Twitter will go through — and that it’ll end up going in Musk’s favor.
“I happen to have watched [Musk] forever, and I think this guy is Teflon man,” O’Leary said. “And he can obviously multitask. I bet on him in this deal. By the time all this stuff is over, I think he’s going to have a good outcome.”
Musk, who has a net worth of $219.1 billion as of Friday afternoon, has been locked in a legal dispute with Twitter’s board over a proposed takeover bid since April. The battle, over Musk’s attempt to pull out of the deal after initially agreeing to buy the social media platform for $54.20 per share, hit a new escalation this week when Musk said he wanted to avoid litigation by returning to his original deal.
Twitter refused to oblige, and a Delaware judge ruled that Musk has until October 28 to close the acquisition if he wants to avoid a trial.
O’Leary predicted that Musk will indeed assume ownership of Twitter once the dust settles, saying he thinks the Tesla CEO will improve the social media platform’s user experience substantially once in charge. Currently, Twitter is falling behind, O’Leary said: Many users don’t regularly post on it anymore, and with the rise of video content on other platforms, it’s losing popularity.
“It’s a terrible company,” O’Leary said. “I use the platform, too, and I look at the metrics versus all the other [social media companies] including Tiktok and LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook. It’s the worst in terms of getting your message out.”
In its fourth quarter last year, Twitter had an average of 217 million daily users, according to Twitter’s 2021 annual report. For comparison, Meta’s platforms collectively had an average of 1.93 billion users in December 2021.
O’Leary said he thinks Musk is overpaying by 40% in the deal, but added that the inflated number might be worth it: By owning Twitter, Musk could use his influence and popularity on the platform to financially benefit his other companies, like Tesla and SpaceX.
“[Tesla] is the only car company on Earth that pays nothing on advertising,” O’Leary said. “He [advertised] it on the back of Twitter and other social media platforms. Very few people get to own their own unregulated network.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”