Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world, offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, or about $43 billion, saying the social media company needs to be transformed privately. “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,” he transmitted to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” he added. Musk said U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley was acting as financial adviser for his offer. “The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders,” the company said in a statement, Thursday.
“Musk making this about free speech is the exact opposite of what every other corporate raider would do about monetizing the company’s value,” said Dan Ives, tech analyst with Wedbush Securities. Musk did not disclose how he intends to fund his purchase. “Twitter is too important to be owned and controlled by a single person,” Venture capitalist Fred Wilson, who recently invested in Twitter and Etsy, sustains. Musk has amassed more than 80 million followers since joining Twitter in 2009.