Tesla CEO Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter, a swift turn just days after deciding not to join the social media company’s board of directors.
Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that Musk provided a letter to the company the day prior with a proposal to buy the remaining shares. The 50-year-old business mogul, currently the richest man in the world, already has 9% stock of Twitter – making him the biggest shareholder.
In the Wednesday letter, Musk offered $54.20 per share of Twitter’s stock, which comes out to $41.3 billion, and said that would be his 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 proposal. “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.”
Musk revealed over recent weeks that he’d been buying shares in almost daily batches starting Jan. 31, prompting Twitter to quickly give Musk a seat on its board on the condition that he not own more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding stock, according to a filing. But Musk backed out of the deal and launched a series of since-deleted tweets about how to better the company – all before this takeover attempt.
Twitter has surged more than 12% in pre-market trading following the billionaire’s statement.
Musk is the CEO and founder for Tesla and chief engineer and CEO for SpaceX. He’s listed as the wealthiest person in the world, according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes real-time billionaires list.
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Below is the full letter Musk sent to Twitter, per the SEC filing.
Chairman of the Board,
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.
As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. 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.