Tesla CEO Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter, a quick turnaround just days after deciding not to join the social media company’s board.
Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that Musk provided a letter to the company the day before with a proposal to buy the remaining shares. The 50-year-old business tycoon, currently the world’s richest man, already owns 9% of Twitter shares, making him the largest shareholder.
In Wednesday’s letter, Musk offered $54.20 a share on Twitter, which stands at $41.3 billion, and said it would be his final offer.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe that free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy” , Musk said in the proposal. “However, since making my investment, I now realize that the business will not thrive or serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed into a private enterprise.
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Musk has revealed in recent weeks that he’s been buying shares in near-daily batches starting Jan. 31, prompting Twitter to quickly give Musk a seat on its board of directors provided he doesn’t own no more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding shares, according to a filing. But Musk backed out of the deal and launched a series of since-deleted tweets about how to improve the business — all before that takeover attempt.
Twitter jumped more than 12% in premarket trading following the billionaire’s statement.
Musk is the CEO and founder of Tesla and chief engineer and CEO of SpaceX. He is listed as the richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes list of real-time billionaires.
Below is the full letter Musk sent to Twitter, per the SEC filing.
President of the council,
I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech worldwide, and I believe that free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
However, since making my investment, I now realize that the business will not thrive or serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be turned into a private company.
Accordingly, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a premium of 54% from the day before I started investing in Twitter and a premium of 38% from compared to the eve of the public announcement of my investment. My offer is my best and last offer and if it is not accepted, I will have to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.