Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the boss of Tesla and SpaceX described his move as a “best and final offer,” adding that the platform has “extraordinary potential” that he would be able to unlock.
“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 wrote in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor that was disclosed in the filing.
Musk, who has 81 million followers on the platform, said in the letter he believes the company should go private because in its current form it can neither thrive nor serve free speech.
He added: “As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 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.”
Musk said this was his “best and final offer” and that if it is not accepted, he will need to reconsider his position as a shareholder.
Musk is said to be worth around $230 billion, so the acquisition offer is certainly a realistic possibility. But he can also be unpredictable, so could just as easily abandon the proposal if he suddenly loses interest.
Early on Thursday morning, he confirmed his move on the company, writing in a tweet, “I made an offer,” and including a link to the filing.
A frequent critic of the platform, Musk earlier this month acquired a 9.2% stake in the company, making him Twitter’s single largest shareholder.
Following news of the stock purchase last week, Twitter offered him a seat on the company’s board. At first, he agreed to take it but then declined at the last minute. He also spent last weekend posting a series of now-deleted tweets listing various changes he’d like to see at Twitter, from the serious to the absurd. They included turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter and adding a long-called-for edit button for tweets. He also suggested adding a verification mark for users who sign up to Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service.
On Tuesday it emerged that a Twitter investor was suing Musk, accusing the billionaire entrepreneur of costing shareholders money while Musk himself saved around $143 million, as he reportedly failed to notify the SEC of the purchase in the required time frame.