By Cristian Bustos
After acquiring a 9% stake in Twitter Inc., Elon Musk wants to be the sole owner of the social network. The billionaire and CEO of Tesla has offered $43 billion at a rate of $54.20 per share to take the company out of the stock market.
According to CNN Business, Musk’s offer represents a 38% premium compared to Twitter’s trading price on April 1. Shares of the company were up by 13% in early trading Thursday, while the stunning bid comes days after the tech billionaire decided not to join the board.
In a letter to Twitter’s president Bret Taylor, Musk said, “It is my best and last offer and if it is not accepted, I would have to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
“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,” he also said.
“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.”
Musk’s popularity on the platform is notorious, as evidenced by his more than 81 million followers —it is the eighth most followed account on a list led by former U.S. President Barack Obama with 131 million.
Reactions And Significance
Musk has gone one step further and is committed to gaining full control through the hostile takeover bid, which is yet to meet resistance.
Twitter shareholders can see their stock appreciate strongly, but if the purchase fails to materialize, experts say, the fall would be as vertical as the rise has been in recent days.
Dan Ives, tech analyst with Wedbush Securities, says: “Musk is putting the Twitter board’s backs against the wall… Musk making this about free speech is the exact opposite of what every other corporate raider would do about monetizing the company’s value. It’s historic and bizarre at the same time.”
Elon Musk’s offer brings the social media sector back to the fore after other famous acquisitions. The increase in prices shows its growing influence since the acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion by Google —Alphabet Inc. and Facebook’s —now Meta Platforms Inc.— acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.
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