By MICHELLE CHAPMAN and MATT O’BRIEN
Tesla CEO Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter, saying the social media platform he criticized for not living up to the principles of free speech should be transformed into a private company.
Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that Musk, currently the company’s largest individual shareholder, has proposed buying the remaining shares of Twitter that he does not yet own at $ 54.20 per share, an offer worth more than $ 43 billion.
Musk called that price his best and last offer, though he did not provide details on funding. The offer is not binding and is subject to financing and other conditions.
“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe that free speech is a social imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in the presentation. “However, since I made my investment now I understand that the company will not prosper or serve this social imperative in its current form. Twitter must be transformed as a private company.”
Shares of Twitter amounted to $ 47.83, up 4.3%, but well below Musk’s bid price, a sign that some investors may doubt the deal will be made. Shares are still below their 52-week high of about $ 73.
Twitter said it has received an offer from Musk and will decide whether it is in the best interest of shareholders to accept or continue to operate as a listed company.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note from a client that he believes “this soap opera will end with Twitter owner Musk following this aggressive hostile takeover of the company.” He thinks it would be difficult for any other bidder or consortium to come forward and said the Twitter board will likely be forced to accept Musk’s offer or start a process to sell the company.
Musk has revealed in regulatory requests in recent weeks that he has been buying shares in almost daily lots since Jan. 31, ending with a stake of about 9%. Only the Vanguard Group mutual fund and ETF set controls more Twitter shares. A lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in New York alleged that Musk illegally delayed the disclosure of his stake in the social media company in order to buy more shares at lower prices.
The billionaire has been a vocal critic of Twitter in recent weeks, mainly because of his belief that he does not respect the principles of freedom of expression. The social media platform has infuriated supporters of Donald Trump and other far-right political figures who have suspended their accounts for violating their content standards on harmful violence, hatred or misinformation. Musk has been described as an “absolute freedom of speech,” but is also known to block other Twitter users who question him or disagree with him.
After Musk announced his participation, Twitter quickly offered him a seat on its board of directors on the condition that he owns no more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding shares, according to a file. But the company said five days later it had turned down.
He did not explain why, but the decision coincided with a barrage of tweets now removed from Musk proposing major changes in the business, such as leaving ads – its main source of income – and turning its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.
Twitter didn’t do as well as its social media rivals and lost money last year. The company reported a net loss of $ 221 million by 2021, largely linked to the resolution of a lawsuit by shareholders who said the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users were interacting with your platform. Its co-founder Jack Dorsey resigned as CEO in late November and was replaced by new CEO Parag Agrawal.
Musk’s more than 81 million Twitter followers make him one of the platform’s most popular figures, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. But his prolific tweets sometimes got him in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and others.
Musk and Tesla agreed in 2018 to pay $ 40 million in civil fines and Musk approved his tweets by a corporate lawyer after he tweeted about having the money to take Tesla privately to $ 420 per share. That didn’t happen, but the tweet caused Tesla’s stock price to rise. Musk’s latest problem with the SEC could be his delay in notifying regulators of his growing involvement in Twitter.
Both his 2018 comments on making Tesla private at $ 420 per share and his latest offer to make Twitter private at $ 54.20 per share seemed to make joking reference to the number 420, a slang reference to marijuana.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion – Press Telegram Source link Tesla CEO Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion – Press Telegram