NEW YORK: Billionaire Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $41.39 billion, which is seen by analysts as a ‘hostile’ takeover bid.
Musk's offer price of $54.20 per share in cash is a 54 percent premium over the day before he began investing in Twitter and a 38 percent premium over the day before his investment was publicly announced.
Twitter shares rose 11 percent in premarket trading following the disclosure.
Musk revealed last week that he had become Twitter's largest shareholder, with a 9.2 percent stake in the company. Since then, analysts have speculated that this could be part of a ploy to stage a hostile take-over of the company.
‘‘Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it’,’’ was the Tesla CEO’s cryptic comment after the offer was made public.
The offer came with a veiled threat. ‘‘This is my best and final offer and, if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,’’ Musk warned.
He has been a vocal critic of Twitter in recent weeks, mostly over his belief that it falls short on free speech principles. The outspoken CEO told Bret Taylor, the Chairman of the Board: ‘‘I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be a platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
‘‘However, 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. As a result, I am offering to buy 100 percent of the company.’’
Musk rejected an offer to join Twitter's board earlier this week after disclosing his stake in the company, a move which analysts said signalled his intention to take over the company, as a board seat would have limited his stake to below 15 percent.
Musk has amassed over 80 million followers since joining the site in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements.