Tesla boss Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter just days after the Tesla CEO said he would no longer be joining the social media company’s board.

Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that Musk, who currently owns just over 9% of its shares and is the company’s largest shareholder, provided the company with a letter on Wednesday, offering to buy the remaining shares of Twitter contained which he does not yet own. Musk offered $54.20 per Twitter share.

He called this prize his best and final offer, though the billionaire didn’t provide details on how it was financed.

“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 societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in the filing. “However, since making my investment, it has been clear to me that the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

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Musk’s takeover bid is just the latest development in his relationship with Twitter. The billionaire revealed in regulatory filings in recent weeks that he has been buying shares on an almost daily basis since Jan. 31. Only Vanguard Group’s mutual funds and ETFs control more Twitter stocks.

Musk has been a vocal critic of Twitter in recent weeks, largely due to his belief that it fails to uphold free speech principles. The social media platform has angered supporters of Donald Trump and other far-right political figures who have had their accounts banned for violating their content standards around violence, hate or harmful misinformation. Musk also has a history of tweeting his own that caused legal trouble.

Musk said last week that he informed Twitter that he would not be joining the board five days after being invited. He didn’t explain why, but the decision coincided with a spate of now-deleted tweets from Musk suggesting important changes for the company, such as deleting ads — its main source of revenue — and converting its San Francisco headquarters into one homeless shelter. Musk left some clues to his thinking on Twitter, such as liking a tweet that summarized the events when Musk was “bidden to play nice and not speak freely” by the “largest free speech shareholder.” “.

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After Musk announced his stake, Twitter quickly gave Musk a seat on the board on the condition that he own no more than 14.9% of the company’s outstanding shares, according to a filing. But Musk got out of the deal.

Musk’s 81 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular personalities on the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. But his prolific tweeting has sometimes landed him in trouble with the SEC and others.

Musk and Tesla agreed in 2018 to pay $40 million in fines and have Musk have his tweets approved by a company lawyer after he tweeted that he had the money to take Tesla privately for $420 per share take. That didn’t happen, but the tweet sent Tesla’s stock price skyrocketing. Musk’s latest trouble with the SEC may be his delay in notifying regulators of his growing involvement in Twitter.

Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and said he doesn’t believe Twitter adheres to the principles of free speech — an opinion shared by supporters of Donald Trump and a number of other right-wing politicians who have done their accounts have been banned for violating Twitter’s content rules.

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Twitter shares are up 11% pre-market. The stock is still below its 52-week high of around $73.

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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/04/14/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-offers-to-buy-twitter/ Tesla boss Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

Jaclyn Diaz

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