ELON Musk has launched a takeover bid for Twitter, offering to pay $54.20 per share, weeks after becoming the social media company’s largest shareholder.
Musk’s offer values Twitter at about $43 billion, which he said was his “best and final offer”.
The offer represents a 54 per cent premium over the day, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
“I don’t have confidence in management,” Musk revealed in the filing, saying he couldn’t make the changes he wanted in the public market.
“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
“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 said.
Musk also tipped Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor, according to the filing.
According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state.
Twitter’s shares jumped 12 per cent in pre-market trading after closing at $45.85 a share on Wednesday. Since Musk’s investment became public on April 1, Twitter’s share price has climbed 16 per cent.
The billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla saw his Tesla’s stock drop by one per cent.
Since Musk bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the social media giant on April 4, 2022 and landed a seat on the company’s board of directors, he has proposed several changes.
He had previously criticised the social media giant publicly, polling people on Twitter last month about whether the company abides by free speech principles.
“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 company said in a statement.
Facebook CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, had offered $500 million in Facebook stock for Twitter in 2008, which was rejected by its founders.
The details of Zuckerberg’s efforts were revealed in Nick Bilton’s book Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.
Facebook, with a market capitalization of $242bn, is known for buying other tech companies, which include WhatsApp, Instagram and Wi-Tai, a speech recognition app.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.