SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Elon Musk, the world’s richest man with an estimated net worth of over $265 billion, has made an unsolicited offer to buy 100 percent of Twitter outright with a “best and final offer” of $54.20 per share, which would amount to $43.4 billion.
Musk’s per share offer represents an 18 percent premium over Twitter’s closing price Wednesday.
Musk noted that if his offer is accepted, he would take the publicly-traded company private and make it a “platform for free speech.” However, if his offer is rejected, he stated that he would have to think twice about his current status as the social media platform’s largest individual shareholder.
The Tesla CEO made headlines in early April when he purchased a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, which equates to 73.5 million shares or $2.89 billion. However, he rejected a subsequent offer to join the company’s board of directors that would have placed a cap on his ability to purchase additional shares of the company.
Musk has been critical of Twitter in the past for what he says is the social media giant’s penchant for censorship.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted on March 26. “What should be done?”
Musk has said that if he takes over the company, he would take Twitter private and “transform” it into a global bastion of free speech.
“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. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”
Musk added that Twitter is “simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made. Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
Twitter confirmed Thursday that the company had received Musk’s offer, and that their board would review it carefully “to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all Twitter stockholders.”