Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter outright, saying the social media platform “needs to be transformed” from his perspective as a self-identified free speech absolutist.
Twitter Inc. has said in a regulatory filing that Musk, currently the company’s biggest individual shareholder, has proposed buying the remaining shares of Twitter that he doesn’t already own US$54.20 per share, an offer worth more than US$43 billion (NZ$63 billion).
Musk called that price his best and final offer, although he provided no details on financing. The offer is non-binding and subject to financing and other conditions.
“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,” Musk said in the filing.
“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.”
Twitter shares rose to US$47.83, up 4.3% but well below Musk’s offer price, a sign that some investors doubt the deal will go through. The stock is still down from its 52-week high of about US$73.
Twitter said it has received Musk's offer and will decide whether it is in the best interests of shareholders to accept or continue to operate as a publicly traded company.