Barely a few days after rejecting an offer to join Twitter’s board, billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday made a hostile bid to buy the microblogging site for $41.39 billion in cash saying the company has extraordinary potential and he will “unlock it”.
Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, has offered to pay $54.20 per share in cash. It is 38 per cent higher than Twitter’s share closing price on April 1.
With over 9 per cent stake Elon Musk is the largest shareholder of Twitter. April 1 was the last trading day before Twitter made public Mr Musk’s shareholding in the company.
Mr Musk made the “best and final” offer in an updated 13D filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.
“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 realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Mr Musk said in a letter addressed to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.
“As a result, I am offering to buy 100 per cent of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54 per cent premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38 per cent premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” he said.
“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,” Mr Musk added in the letter.
The offer comes just a few days after Musk 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, reported Sky News. A board seat would have limited Mr Musk’s stake to just under 15 per cent.
The Tesla chief said Twitter can unlock its potential by going private.
“As I indicated this weekend, I believe that the company should be private to go through the changes that need to be made. After the past several days of thinking this over, I have decided I want to acquire the company and take it private,” Mr Musk said in a text chat with Twitter Chairman.
As per the voice script published in the regulatory filing, Mr Musk said he was not “playing the back-and-forth game”.
“I have moved straight to the end. It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it,” he told the Twitter chairman.
“If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder. This is not a threat, it’s simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made. And those changes won’t happen without taking the company private,” he said.