Elon Musk Wants to Buy 100% of Twitter in Hostile Takeover for $60 Billion

Elon Musk Wants to Buy 100% of Twitter in Hostile Takeover for $60 Billion
Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP, Getty Images

Elon Musk, who recently bought a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, has made an offer to buy the company outright for $US54.20 (around $75) per share in cash in a hostile takeover of roughly $US43 billion (let’s say $60 billion), according to a new from Bloomberg News and documents filed with the SEC. Musk said in the SEC filing that if his offer isn’t accepted he’ll likely sell all his shares.

Musk, the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of roughly $US260 billion, made headlines earlier this month when it was announced he purchased an enormous slice of Twitter, making him the largest shareholder. Musk was going to join the board, but backed out at the last minute, with speculation he may want to just buy the entire company.

That speculation turned out to be correct, with Musk threatening to take his ball and go home if he can’t take the company private with his bid.

“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,” Musk said in his SEC filing about the hostile takeover.

“However, since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Musk continued.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $US54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it’s not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk wrote.

“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”

The document makes clear Musk’s offer of $US54.20 per share, a premium of over 50%, is his final offer, saying he’s “not playing the back-and-forth game.”

“If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.

“This is not a threat,” Musk said in what was clearly a threat. “It’s simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made,” Musk continued.

Musk is a frequent tweeter and often makes crude and juvenile jokes on Twitter that can get him into trouble. The 50-year-old recently floated the idea of changing the name of Twitter to “Titter” and once tweeted a meme comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Both tweets were deleted by Musk.

And don’t even get us started on Musk’s jokes about the share price of Tesla, something that got him a slap on the wrist from the SEC. When you’re the wealthiest person in the world, a fine of just $US40 million is the kind of chump change you find in your couch cushions.

Musk was sued this week by an investor in Twitter over his failure to properly disclose his huge stake in the company. Legally, Musk was required to file a notice with the SEC once he had bought 5% of Twitter. But Musk didn’t file the proper paperwork until April 4, a full ten days late. The person who’s suing Musk in this case sold his shares during that period of illegal secrecy and lost money as a result.

What happens now? Twitter has to decide whether to accept this generous offer, or turn it down and deal with a lot of pissed off shareholders.