Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

Elon Musk has launched a $ 43 billion hostile takeover bid on Twitter, the social network that the eccentric billionaire behind Tesla uses as a hobby to connect with his 81 million followers – and says he believes the platform is crucial to that democracy can work.

At a TED conference on Thursday, Musk outlined his plan to take Twitter privately, saying he sees the platform as a way to promote conversation and potentially even prevent international conflicts. But he acknowledged that if he took ownership, he would be blamed for problems, and even before that, his bid could fail.

“My strong intuitive sense is that it is extremely important for the future of civilization to have a public platform that is most trusted and broadly inclusive,” he said. “I do not care about finances at all.”

The offer to take the company privately in a securities archive dated Wednesday for $ 54.20 per share marks a major escalation in a week-long battle by Musk to gain influence over the social media company after acquiring a stake of more than 9 percent and flirting with a seat on the board. In the application, he called it a “best and final offer.” If it is not accepted, he added: “I will have to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

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Twitter confirmed in a press release Thursday that they had received an “unsolicited, non-binding proposal” from Musk. “Twitter’s board of directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the approach it believes is in the best interests of the company and all Twitter shareholders.”

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Musk, who is CEO of the electric car company Tesla and his space company SpaceX, is known for some good business statements, some of which do not work. Musk famously tweeted that he had “secured funding” to take Tesla privately in 2018 at $ 420 per share, but was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission when that deal failed. He also often advertises products like the Cybertrucken on a faster schedule than possible.

The price of the takeover bid – 54.20 USD per.

While Musk is the richest man in the world, valued at $ 259 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, some analysts questioned whether he had enough liquid assets to buy Twitter. Much of his wealth is tied to his businesses. At the TED conference on Thursday, Musk assured the audience that he did.

“I had technical advice for it,” he said, adding, “I think it’s going to be something painful, and I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to acquire it.”

Musk unloaded billions worth of Tesla shares from the end of last year, and began buying shares on Twitter in late January, according to financial reports. Musk had said he intended to sell 10 percent of his shares in the electric car company, the most valuable automaker. Tesla’s valuation of more than $ 1 trillion dwarfs the value of the social media network he seeks to buy, about $ 34 billion.

Musk plans to allow the maximum number of shareholders allowed to stay in the private company, he said.

Some shareholders tweeted their disapproval of the plan. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted on Thursday that he rejected the offer, saying he did not think it came “close to the company’s inherent value”.

Meanwhile, some investors and analysts covering his two main projects are worried that Musk’s acquisition could prove to be a distraction from his ambitions to revolutionize the automotive and space industries.

In a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor, Musk said he believes the company has “the potential to be the platform for free speech across the globe.”

Freedom of speech is a “societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” he added. But since his investment, he has come to “realize that the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter must be transformed as a private company.”

The SEC filing also included what appeared to be text and voice messages associated with the discussion. In a voice message that appeared to be from Musk, Tesla’s CEO said, “I’m not playing the back-and-forth game … I went straight to the end,” adding about his offer that “It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it. “

He said he would have to reconsider his position on Twitter if his deal was not accepted.

“This is not a threat, it is simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made,” he said according to the case.

On April 5, Twitter surprised employees and investors by announcing that Musk would join the board. Days later, however, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk had resigned.

“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged,” Agrawal wrote. “The decisions we make and how we execute remain unchanged. The decisions we make and how we execute are in our hands, no one else’s. Let’s reduce the noise and stay focused on the work and what we build.”

After all, Tesla CEO Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board

Becoming a board member would have “handcuffed” him from fully taking over the company, CFRA stock researcher Angelo Zino noted in an email to The Post.

Board membership will also give Musk certain responsibilities of trust, such as requiring him to act in the best interests of the company.

Over the weekend, Musk unloaded a series of sharp barbs tweets on the company. “Is Twitter dying?” he asked early Saturday morning. He went on to question Twitter’s most popular users, its San Francisco headquarters, and its account authentication process. Before he finished, he made an obscene joke about changing the company name.

Musk’s takeover bid was met with mixed reactions on Thursday.

Some right-wing politicians cheered on Musk’s takeover bid and played into a broader setback against the social media platform as it permanently prohibited former President Donald Trump in early 2021.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Col.) Said Musk deserves a medal for his “patriotic and necessary” fight for free speech. Nigel Farage, a British TV station and former politician who was the leader of the Brexit movement, called Musk’s takeover bid the best news for free speech for years.

“The panic coming from blue-checked media following Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter is the fear of losing the ability to censor conservatives online and silence freedom of speech they don’t like,” the rep tweeted. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

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Others seemed concerned that Musk might gain too much control over a platform that many consider crucial to free speech. Fred Wilson, a New York-based venture capitalist, said the platform is “too important” to be owned and controlled by a single person.

“The opposite should happen,” Wilson said tweeted. “Twitter should be decentralized as a protocol that drives an ecosystem of communications products and services.”

Musk attacked the Securities and Exchange Commission at the TED conference on Thursday, a common enemy since his 2018 spit with the regulatory agency over the tweet that cost him $ 20 million and his Tesla board chairmanship.

“I was forced to illegally admit to the SEC, those idiots,” he said, repeating an argument he made in a recent letter to a federal judge.

Reed Albergotti contributed to this report.

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