Elon Musk is proposing to buy Twitter for $ 43 billion, saying social networks “need to be transformed into a private company”.
Billionaire and founder of electric car maker Tesla, which unveiled earlier this month he owns 9.2% of the shares in Twitter, proposed in the normative filing on Thursday buy the entire company for $ 54.20 per share.
“I have invested in Twitter because I believe it can be a platform for freedom of speech around the world, and I believe that freedom of speech is an imperative of society for a functioning democracy,” he said in a statement. “However, once I have made my investment, I understand that the company will neither prosper nor serve this public imperative in its current form.”
In a Twitter statement said she received Mask’s offer and that her advice was to “carefully consider the offer.”
At the beginning of trading, Twitter shares rose 3.6% to $ 47.49. Shares in the social networking platform, which before Mask’s proposal were valued at $ 37 billion, fell by about a third compared to the previous year.
Describing Twitter as “extraordinary potential”, Musk said his unsolicited offer was his “best and final offer”. He also said he would “reconsider” his investment in the company if his offer was rejected.
Musk, who also founded SpaceX, revealed on April 4 that he bought a stake in Twitter for $ 2.9 billion, making him the largest shareholder. At the time, the company said the entrepreneur would join its board of directors, but Twitter CEO Parag Agraval said Sunday that Musk had changed his mind and would not take a seat as a board member.
Mask’s $ 43 billion offer for Twitter is about a sixth of his $ 259 billion fortune, which, according to Bloomberg makes him the richest man in the world.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives described Mask’s offer to buy Twitter as an “aggressive hostile takeover” and said he expected success. He predicted that the Twitter board would most likely have to either accept his offer or ask for other suggestions.
“It would be difficult to be another contender / consortium,” Ives said. “In the coming days there will be a lot of issues related to funding, regulation, balancing time Mask (Tesla, SpaceX), but ultimately, based on this statement, Twitter accepts the application now or never.”
Other major state shareholders of Twitter include financial giants BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard Group.
What does Musk want from Twitter?
Mask’s 80.5 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular figures on the platform, ahead of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez.
But his frequent tweets also caused problems with regulations such as his a long debate with the Securities and Exchange Commission after he tweeted in 2019 that he has the money to make Tesla private at $ 420 a share. This did not happen, but caused a jump in shares and attracted the attention of regulators.
Musk was expected to be Twitter’s largest shareholder push the campaign to freedom of speech issues, the topic on which it was opened. His letter of merit highlighted the issue, and Musk noted his focus on “freedom of speech”.
In his proposal, Musk also hinted that he might want to change the way Twitter works. For example, he called for more access to “verified” or Twitter accounts, followed by a blue tick that is kept in reserve for public figures, journalists and other people in the news.
Twitter revenue is growing: sales in 2021 rose 36% to more than $ 5 billion. But the company has lost money over the past two years, and some investors believe it lags behind competitors on social media. If Twitter rejects the offer, it will need to offer a convincing explanation, said one analyst.
“If Twitter rejects this proposal, it should also be clear why it believes that the premium rating in this proposal does not properly reflect the long-term history and opportunities for Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Igal Arunyan said in a research note.