Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter, says it needs to be transformed
Offer comes after Musk, who owns nine percent of Twitter’s shares, said he will not be joining the company’s board of directors.
Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter.
The revelation on Thursday came just days after the Tesla CEO said he would no longer be joining the social media company’s board of directors.
Twitter Inc said in a regulatory filing that Musk, who currently owns slightly more than nine percent of the company’s stock and is its biggest shareholder, provided a letter on Wednesday that contained a proposal to buy the remaining 91 percent of shares.
He offered $54.2 per share of Twitter’s stock, calling the price his best and final offer.
“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,” Musk said in the filing.
“However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
Later, Twitter said its board will evaluate an “unsolicited, non-binding” offer from Musk.
“The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders,” Twitter said as it confirmed it received Musk’s bid valuing the company at $43.4 billion.
The buyout offer from Musk, who also owns US aerospace company SpaceX, is just the latest development in his relationship with Twitter.
The billionaire revealed in regulatory filings over recent weeks that he had been buying shares in almost daily batches starting January 31.
At that point, Twitter quickly gave Musk a seat on its board on the condition that he not own more than 14.9 percent of the company’s outstanding stock, according to a filing.
But Musk backed out of the deal.
Only Vanguard Group’s suite of mutual funds and ETFs controls more Twitter shares.
Musk’s 81 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular figures on the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga.
Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has said he does not think Twitter is living up to free speech principles – an opinion shared by followers of Donald Trump and a number of other right-wing political figures who have had their accounts suspended for violating Twitter content rules.
Shares of Twitter jumped 11 percent before the market opened on Thursday.