Billionaire Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter (TWTR.N) for about $43 billion in cash, saying the social media company he has often criticized needs to go private to see effective changes.
Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share, which was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday, represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s April 1 close, the last trading day before the Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO’s more than 9% stake in the company was made public.
Musk rejected an offer to join Twitter’s board earlier this week after disclosing his stake in the company, a move which analysts said signaled his intention to take over the company as a board seat would have limited his stake to just under 15%.
“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 said in a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.
Twitter did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Musk has amassed over 80 million followers since joining the site in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements, including teasing a go-private deal for Tesla that landed him in hot water with regulators.
Tesla’s stock dipped 1% on the news.
Here is the letter Musk sent as disclosed in a securities filing:
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.
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.
As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.