'Doesn't serve free speech!' Elon Musk makes £31BN hostile takeover bid to BUY Twitter


'Doesn't serve free speech!' Elon Musk makes £31BN hostile takeover bid to BUY Twitter

The Tesla chief executive's offer price of $54.20 per share was 38 percent higher than the closing price of Twitter's stock on April 1, a day befor

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The Tesla chief executive’s offer price of $54.20 per share was 38 percent higher than the closing price of Twitter’s stock on April 1, a day before his investment of 9.2 percent in the company was made public. The total value of the deal was calculated based on 763.58 million shares outstanding, according to Refinitiv data.

The shock offer comes after Mr Musk rejected an offer to join Twitter’s board earlier this week after disclosing his stake in the company.

It was a move which analysts said signalled his intention to take over the company as a board seat would have limited his stake to just under 15 percent.

Mr Musk said in a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor: “”Since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

The tech billionaire has amassed more than 80 million followers since joining Twitter in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements, including teasing a go-private deal for Tesla which landed him in hot water with regulators.

Mr Musk said Morgan Stanley was the financial adviser for the offer, which was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Twitter shares jumped 12 percent after the takeover offer.

Mr Musk has been a vocal critic of of Twitter in recent weeks, alleging that the platform falls short on free speech principles.

He has described himself as a “free speech absolutist”.

Twitter has angered followers of former US President Donald Trump as well as other right wing politicians who have seen their accounts suspended for reportedly violating the platform’s content standards on violence, hate or harmful misinformation.

The Tesla Inc Chief Executive disclosed on Monday that he had abandoned a plan to join Twitter Inc’s board just as his tenure was about to start.

It was the latest move by the world’s richest man that defied US corporate norms.

According to Reuters news agency, there was no sign Twitter was worried that a hostile bid from Mr Musk was imminent.

In announcing the development, Twitter disclosed no shareholder rights plan, known as a “poison pill,” which would force dilution if Mr Musk tried to raise his stake above a certain threshold.

However, Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal warned Twitter employees on Sunday of “distractions ahead” in a possible reference to Mr Musk’s criticism of the company via a series of tweets.

He said at the time that he believed Mr Musk’s withdrawal was “for the best”.

On Monday, Mr Musk deleted many of the tweets he posted last weekend about the social media platform.

The tweets ranged from a call to remove advertising on Twitter to dropping the letter “w” in the company’s name.