Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid of Twitter, offering to purchase the social media company for $43 billion.
Musk, who recently became Twitter’s largest shareholder after quietly purchasing a 9.2% stake over the last several months, said that if his offer is accepted he intends to take the company private.
“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 wrote in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor. “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.”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential,” Musk added. “I will unlock it.”
Musk said his offer is “best and final,” adding, “I am 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.”
If the offer is rejected, Musk warned, “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.”
In a statement, Twitter’s Board of Directors said it “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.”
Earlier this week, Musk abandoned his plans to join Twitter’s board, presumably so that he would not be bounded to a “standstill” agreement preventing members of the board from owning more than 14.9% of Twitter’s stock.
While Musk has yet to elaborate on how he intends to “unlock” Twitter’s “extraordinary potential,” the business mogul has long been critical of the company’s decision to deplatform users who spread false conspiracy theories about election fraud and the pandemic.
He has also encouraged Twitter to move its platform to an open-source network, and has called for the implementation of an “edit” feature for published tweets.
Musk has long been a user of Twitter, which has sometimes presented governance problems for his other companies like Tesla and SpaceX. In 2018, the SEC sued Musk for fraud after he tweeted that he intended to take Tesla private at $420 a share, a price point he admitted had been chosen because his then-partner Grimes would think it was funny. After he and Grimes broke up last year, and reports emerged that she had begun a new relationship with Chelsea Manning, Musk tweeted out a transphobic meme. He has also recently used the platform to compare Justin Trudeau to Hitler and challenge Vladimir Putin to a fight.
I made an offer https://t.co/VvreuPMeLu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
Our press release this morning:https://t.co/XoC4UXrZ6P
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) April 14, 2022