Billionaire Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for about $43 billion just days after rejecting a seat on the social media company’s board.
Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
It represents a 38 percent premium to Twitter’s April 1st close, the last trading day before the Tesla CEO’s more than 9 percent stake, which makes him the company’s biggest shareholder, was made public.
The 50-year-old has more than 80 million followers on the microblogging website.
Twitter’s shares jumped 12 percent in pre-market trading.
“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 says in the filing.
“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,” he said in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor.
Musk: Offer for Twitter is final
“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.
Earlier this week, Musk said he had abandoned a plan to join Twitter’s board just as his tenure was about to start.
Taking the board seat would have prevented him from a possible takeover of the company.
Earlier in April, Musk had taken a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, purchasing approximately 73.5 million shares.
In March, Musk said he was giving “serious thought” to starting his own social media company and accused Twitter of “failing to adhere to free speech principles [and thus] fundamentally undermin[ing] democracy.” This remark was made given the notion that the site “serves as the de facto public town square.”
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