Earthquake in Silicon Valley. Elon Musk has launched a $43 billion bid to take full control of Twitter. In a letter to investors from the social network advanced by ‘Bloomberg’, the richest man in the world has proposed to them to buy their stake at a price of 54.20 dollars per share, more than double what they were worth two weeks ago when it was announced that he had bought a 9 .20% of the platform, which made him its largest individual shareholder.
“It is my best and last offer”, assured the tycoon, co-founder of PayPal and leading companies like Tesla either SpaceX. “If it is not accepted, I would have to reconsider my position as a shareholder.” With this hostile takeover, Musk seeks to own the entirety of Twitter to drive change and “unlock” its “extraordinary potential.”
Just six days after it was announced that Musk was joining Twitter’s board of directors, the businessman backed down and decided not to. That gesture opened a window of speculation and possibilities, among which was launching a purchase offer for the platform. And it is that the members of the board of directors cannot buy more than 14.9% of company shares. From the outside, Musk no longer has his hands tied and thus he has been able to launch this hostile takeover bid.
Besides, money is not a problem for him. His fortune amounts to 260,000 million dollars, which makes him the richest man on the planet, followed by the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. The acquisition of Twitter shares would be made in cash. “This is not a threat, it’s just (Twitter) is not a good investment without the changes that need to be made.”
Musk’s offer on Twitter includes the number 420, associated with marijuana and which he also used when he said in 2018 that he wanted to privatize Tesla in a tweet that earned him a millionaire fine and a major court battle.
He is the ultimate troll. pic.twitter.com/HNAIFHTD30
– Carles Planas Bou (@carlesplb) April 14, 2022
If he succeeds in his offensive, Musk seeks to “transform” the social network, one of the most important in the world in shaping public opinion. “I have invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for freedom of expression around the world and I believe that freedom of expression is the social imperative for a functioning democracy,” he stressed in his letter to shareholders.
That message is not a surprise. Musk has spent months criticizing Twitter’s content moderation policies promoted to limit the proliferation of hate speech and of the disinformation. The possible purchase of the platform by the tycoon worries some of its workers, since they believe that with its arrival the door would be opened to more lax policies and the return of donald trumpwhose account was closed for encouraging the violent insurrection against the Capitol in which some of his followers sought to forcibly stop the certification of the presidential victory of his rival, Joe Biden.
Musk’s generous offer – which exceeds the price per share of when he acquired that 9.2% in February – may not prosper. Market sources tell ‘Bloomberg’ that the $54.20 per share could be “too low” for Twitter’s shareholders or board of directors to accept. Less than a year ago these reached 70 dollars. The current value of the company’s shares has risen 3% to $45.86.
However, the hostile takeover bid announced this Thursday by the controversial billionaire makes it clear that the current CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, offered him a position on the board to try to prevent this attack, a failed strategy. “I don’t trust management,” Musk said.