Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter in a deal that could be worth over $40billion for the social media platform.
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In a surprise announcement, the Tesla and SpaceX boss – who shared a copy of his offer with his Twitter followers earlier today (April 14) – said he would pay $54.20 a share for the company, valuing it around the $40billion mark.
It comes after it recently emerged that Musk was Twitter’s biggest shareholder. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the entrepreneur now owns a 9.2 per cent stake in the social media platform.
The filings state that as of March 14, Musk owned 73,486,938 Twitter shares, which are currently worth around £3billion. This makes Musk the biggest shareholder of Twitter, with founder Jack Dorsey owning just 2.25 per cent.
In a message accompanying his offer, Musk said: “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
“However, since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
Will endeavor to keep as many shareholders in privatized Twitter as allowed by law
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
He continued: “As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
In a follow-up tweet to the one disclosing his offer to buy Twitter, Musk added: “Will endeavor to keep as many shareholders in privatised Twitter as allowed by law.”
Musk had been invited to join the Twitter board, but the company’s chief executive Parag Agrawal announced on Sunday (April 10) that he had decided against it. His appointment was due to take effect over the weekend.
Musk has had a muddied history with Twitter. In December, after it was announced that Agrawal was taking over from Dorsey as Twitter’s CEO, Musk posted a meme showing Agrawal as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Dorsey as Soviet secret police head Nikolai Yezhov being shoved into water.
And earlier this year, he criticised Twitter’s announcement about NFT profile pictures, calling it “annoying”.
It’s also been reported that Musk is trying to get out of an agreement with the SEC, that requires him to show tweets containing material business information to a company lawyer before sending them out.
The £30million settlement came about in 2018, after the CEO tweeted he could take the company private at $420 (£320) a share, causing Tesla’s stock price to climb by 6%. The SEC then sued Musk for securities fraud. Part of the settlement called for “additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications.”
According to Musk’s lawyers, the agreement violates his free speech but the SEC responded by saying as long as Musk uses his Twitter account to give information to investors, the SEC “may legitimately investigate matters relating to Tesla’s disclosure controls and procedures, including Musk’s tweets about Tesla.”