World’s richest man and Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk, has offered to buy Twitter for $41.39bn, according to a regulatory filing.
The flamboyant techpreneur offer of $54.20 a share was 38% higher than the closing price of Twitter’s stock on 1 April, the day before his investment of 9.2% in the company was publicly announced.
The company’s shares were trading at $45.85 yesterday (Wednesday) and were up to more than $50 a share in pre-market trading.
“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,” he said in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor.
“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.”
“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” he added.
In the filing, he was quoted saying “this is not a threat, it’s simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made”.
He said he does not have “confidence in management” and does not believe he can “drive the necessary change” while the company is still private.
He said the company’s shareholders will “love” the deal due to its high price.
It comes just days after the billionaire rejected a seat on the social media company’s board.
Taking the board seat would have stopped him from a possible takeover of the company.
Musk already owns 73,486,938 Twitter shares, which are currently worth £3.3bn.
He is a frequent user of Twitter and has more than 80m followers, but this is not the first time he has been critical of the platform’s approach to free speech.
Neil Campling, from Mirabaud Equity Research, said: “The Elon ego has landed.
“This becomes a hostile takeover offer which is going to cost a serious amount of cash – aka he will have to sell a decent piece of Tesla stock to fund it – or a massive loan against it) and time.”