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Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

Germany Musk
(Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP)

Elon Musk, who is currently worth about $260 billion, has made a “best and final” $43 billion cash offer to buy Twitter, saying the company has extraordinary potential and he is the person to unlock it.

The world’s richest person will offer $54.20 per share in cash, representing a 54% premium over the Jan. 28 closing price and a value of about $43 billion.  The social media company’s shares soared 18% in pre-market trading.

It’s a “carrot-and-stick” approach that Elon Musk is laying at the feet of Twitter s board of directors.  “Take my $43-billion-dollar offer or I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

Musk owns just over nine percent of Twitter stock; if he dumped it, Twitter share prices would like take a beating.

Musk, 50, announced the offer in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, after turning down a potential board seat at the company.

The billionaire, who is already the largest shareholder of Twitter stock, and has turned down a seat on the board which would have prevented him from this take over and from disclosing any algorithms that might suffocate free speech.

After his stake became public, Musk immediately began making suggestions like turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter, adding an edit button for tweets, and granting automatic verification marks to premium users.  One tweet suggested Twitter might be dying, given that several celebrities with high numbers of followers rarely tweet.

Unsatisfied with the influence that comes with being Twitter’s largest investor, he has now launched a full takeover, one of the few individuals who can afford it outright. He’s currently worth about $260 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, compared with Twitter’s market valuation of about $37 billion.

In a letter to Twitter’s board, Musk said Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company”

The takeover is unlikely to be a drawn-out process. “If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” said Musk.