After polling his followers on the social network’s adherence to “free speech,” buying nearly 10 percent of the company’s shares, accepting then declining an offer to join the board, and floating several ideas for new features, Elon Musk has a new tactic in his war against Twitter: buy it outright. In a disclosure on, you guessed it, Twitter, Musk has announced that he has made a $41 billion cash offer to take the company private.
The latest gambit is a staggering move that could have enormous effects beyond Twitter. Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share—because he had to get a 420 joke in there—represents a 38 percent premium to Twitter’s April 1 close, the last trading day before the whole saga started with the disclosure that the Tesla CEO had taken a stake of nearly 10 percent in Twitter.
Following that sizable stock purchase, Musk accepted a seat on Twitter’s board but quickly reneged on it after Twitter requested a background check and a 15 percent cap on total shares.
It’s unclear what the next steps will be. Twitter’s board needs to review the offer, but the amount Musk is willing to pay is unlikely to be matched. It’s hard to see the offer as anything but hostile, especially considering the events that have played out in recent weeks. Musk’s offer includes the condition that Twitter “needs to be transformed as a private company.”
In the offer letter, Musk said he believes in Twitter’s “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 added that the offer was his “best and final offer” and he is not “playing the back-and-forth game.” If not accepted, Musk says he “would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
Several of Apple’s current and former senior executives, including Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Greg Joswiak regularly tweet information about Apple events. Additionally, Apple owns several support handles as well as the @Apple Twitter account but doesn’t actually tweet anything other than ephemeral sponsored posts.