You know a deal is signed and closed when the parties are reviewing each other and no one can agree on what the deal actually says.
We followed the TikTok / Oracle We've been settling down here on theinformationsuperhighway for some time, and over the weekend it seemed like we'd finally hit the finish line in one of the weirdest M&A trials we've ever seen. But the past 48 hours have been so confusing that I'm not sure we even know what the deal is, even though it's been approved.
Overnight, my colleague Rita Liao put together a nice fact check based on the official statements from ByteDance to check what we now know about the TikTok deal. The key is that “China's ByteDance confirms that the company will retain an 80% stake in TikTok after selling a total of 20% to Oracle, its "trusted technology partner," and Walmart, its "commercial partner". "
This was our assumption that Oracle would acquire 12.5% of TikTok Global and Walmart 7.5%. According to some estimates, the terms of the contract would estimate TikTok to be around $ 60 billion.
This is a simple story, but apparently not the complete one, because now there is another fold going on here.
In a new statement attributed to its Executive Vice President Ken Glueck, Oracle said, "After TikTok Global is established, Oracle / Walmart will make their investment and TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance is not involved in TikTok Global. "
President Donald Trump has spoken about the deal himself in places like CNBC, arguing that TikTok must be completely controlled by Americans.
For all I can find out (and to be honest, given the changing landscape and the war of words, it's not clear that even the participants know what's going on) that the TikTok app is in a new company called TikTok will be located Global, that will be outside of China. There doesn't appear to be any other "TikTok" entity. ByteDance will continue to own its China-focused apps Douyin (Toutiao, a short video social service for the Chinese market). and others and obviously they keep running.
How can a company own a majority of the company and 0% of a company at the same time? theinformationsuperhighway is investigating, or at least combing, the rubble of this deal and trying to turn it into heads or tails.