Elon Musk makes $43bn offer for full control of Twitter

14 Apr 2022

Elon Musk at Web Summit 2013. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

The billionaire Twitter fan sees ‘extraordinary potential’ in the platform he believes he can ‘unlock’.

As expected by many industry observers, Elon Musk has launched his attempt at a hostile takeover of Twitter.

Musk has made what he calls a “best and final” offer to buy the social media platform at price of $54.20 per share. This proposed all-cash deal would amount to around $43bn. This is above Twitter’s reported market value of about $37bn.

The tech entrepreneur and investor said that if his offer is not accepted, he would need to “reconsider” his position as a shareholder.

“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” he wrote in a letter addressed to Bret Taylor, chair of the board.

He once again stated his belief in Twitter as a platform for “free speech” and his concerns that “the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form”.

“Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” he wrote.

‘I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market’

Musk filed his offer with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday night (13 April) noting that it would be public by morning.

Twitter today (14 April) confirmed receipt of Musk’s “unsolicited, non-binding proposal”. It said the board will “carefully review” the bid “to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all Twitter stockholders”.

Musk assured that he would not play “the back-and-forth game”, instead moving “straight to the end”.

He added, “I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market.”

This development is the latest and much anticipated move in a story that began when reports emerged last week that Musk had become Twitter’s largest shareholder, with a 9.2pc stake in the company.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal then revealed that Musk would be joining the company’s board. This was followed by a quick U-turn with Agrawal announcing that this would not in fact be the case and that it was “for the best”.

Earlier this week, a Twitter shareholder sued Musk for failing to promptly disclose that he had bought a significant stake in the company.

The Tesla CEO had been acquiring shares since January and acquired 5pc by 14 March, meaning he needed to notify the SEC by 24 March. The lawsuit document states that Musk continued to amass shares before notifying the SEC.

On 4 April, an SEC filing outlined that Musk had acquired more than 9pc of Twitter’s shares. The lawsuit claims that investors who sold shares during the period when Musk was supposed to reveal his stake missed the share price increase from the market reaction.

Updated, 1.50pm, 14 April 2022: This article has been updated to include a statement from Twitter.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.