After taking a 9.2% stake in Twitter this month, Tesla chief Elon Musk just kicked off a $43 billion takeover bid for the company.
In a new SEC filing, Musk declared he will offer $54.20 per share for Twitter, 54% above the firm’s trading price on January 28, which is a 38% premium over its price on April 1, the day before Musk’s investments in Twitter were disclosed.
Per Bloomberg, Musk, who’s worth about $260 billon, can easily afford to take over Twitter, which is worth about $37 billion.
Musk, who has over 80 million followers, says he invested in Twitter because it is “the platform for free speech” globally. However, he now wants Twitter to go private.
“After the past several days of thinking this over, I have decided I want to acquire the company and take it private,” said Musk in the filing.
In recent weeks, he’s asked whether Twitter is dying, highlighting that some of its top users have not posted on it for months.
“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 says 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.
“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
Musk says he’s not playing a “back-and-forth game” and emphasized shareholders will “love” his offer.
Musk, chief of Tesla and SpaceX, on March 14 bought 73,486,938 shares of Twitter’s 800,641,166 common stock amounting to 9.2%.
He’s one of the top 10 Twitter users by follower counts along with Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
He uses Twitter to share jokes and memes on topics ranging from the nature of the universe, news about SpaceX rocket launches, Starling satellites, and Tesla’s performance.
In the filing, Musk says he doesn’t have confidence in Twitter’s management and would reconsider his stake in the company if the takeover bid doesn’t proceed. The changes needed won’t happen if the company isn’t taken private, he said.
“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,” he wrote.
On April 10, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk would not take a previously proposed seat on the board. Prior to that, Musk said he would not take more than 14.9% of Twitter’s common stock.
Musk wants to “massively expand the verified pool & make bot armies too expensive to maintain.”