Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $40bn and take it private as ‘platform for free speech’

‘Twitter has extraordinary potential.  I will unlock it’ says Tesla billionaire

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 14 April 2022 20:40
Comments
Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $41 billion

Elon Musk has offered to buy the whole of Twitter outright for $40bn (£30.5bn), weeks after he bought a stake in the platform, promising to make it a “platform for free speech”.

The billionaire Tesla chief wants to take the publicly limited social media giant private.

His announcement came after he bought just under 10 per cent of Twitter, making him its biggest shareholder. Soon after that, he was offered a seat on the board, and initially accepted – but then announced that he would not be joining after all.

Now he has said that the company “should be private to go through the changes that need to be made” in filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“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,” he wrote.

“However, since making my investment I now realise 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 suggested that he could sell all of his shares if the offer is not accepted.

“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,” Mr Musk’s SEC filings read.

“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.”

In separate filings, Mr Musk revealed the script he had sent to Twitter’s leadership. In it, he indicated that he had been thinking the situation over the “past several days” and decided that he wanted to buy the company.

He would not be “playing the back-and-forth game” and instead “moved straight to the end”, he told Twitter leadership. “It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it.”

He then told the company that if the deal did not go ahead, “given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market”, he could look to sell his shares.

“This is not a threat, it’s simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made,” he said. “And those changes won’t happen without taking the company private.”

He did not give any indication of what those intended changes might be, beyond his comments about “free speech”.

Twitter has also confirmed it has received the offer and said it will now consider it.

“The Twitter board of directors 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,” the social media site said in a statement.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in