Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, who recently acquired 9.2% of Twitter’s capital, has proposed buying the entire company at a price of $54.20 per share and remove the company from Wall Street. The total cost would be 41 billion dollars for the rest of the share package.
A regulatory filing showed on Thursday that the price per share offered by Musk is u38% increase compared to the closing price of Twitter shares on April 1, the last day of trading before the Tesla chief executive’s investment of more than 9% in the company was publicly announced.
In a document transmitted on Wednesday to the supervisory authority of the US stock market, Musk specifies that it is about “your best offer and your last offer”and threatens, in case of rejection, with “re-examining its shareholder position” within the social network.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe that free speech is a social imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk says in his presentation.
“However, since making my investment, I have realized that the company will not prosper or serve this social imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to transform into a private company“, he added.
Twitter stated that it has received the offer from Musk, and that it will decide if the best thing for the shareholders is to accept it to continue operating as a listed company.
a troubled relationship
Musk’s buyout offer is just the latest development in his relationship with Twitter. The billionaire has disclosed in regulatory filings over the past few weeks that he has been buying shares in almost daily batches since January 31.
Only Vanguard Group’s set of mutual funds and ETFs controls more Twitter stock.
Musk has been very critical of Twitter in recent weeks, especially because he believes that it does not comply with the principles of freedom of expression.
The social network has angered supporters of Donald Trump and other far-right political figures, who have had their accounts suspended for violating its content guidelines on violence, hate or harmful misinformation. Musk also has a history of tweets of his own that have caused legal trouble.
Musk said last week that he informed Twitter that would not join its board of directors five days after being invited.
He did not explain why, but the decision coincided with a barrage of now-deleted tweets from Musk proposing major changes to the company, such as ditching ads — his main source of revenue — and transforming its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.
Musk left some clues on Twitter about his thinking, such as liking a tweet that summed up events as Musk going from being the “largest shareholder for freedom of expression” to be “told to play nice and not speak freely”.
After Musk announced his involvement, Twitter rushed to give Musk a seat on its board of directors on the condition that he own no more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding shares, according to a filing. But Musk backed out of the deal.
Musk’s 81 million followers on Twitter make him one of the most popular figures of the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. But his prolific tweeting activity has sometimes gotten him into trouble with the SEC and other agencies.
Source: AFP and AP