On Thursday, Elon Musk revealed that he wanted to purchase Twitter for $43.4 billion dollars after a securities filing containing text messages between him and Twitter board chair Bret Taylor went public.
Although the SpaceX founder has been quietly buying up shares in the company since January, he acquired a 9.2% stake in the company in early April, making him Twitter’s largest shareholder. The following day, Musk agreed not to purchase more than 15% percent of Twitter stock in exchange for a seat on their Board of Directors.
A few days later, however, the Tesla founder changed his mind and decided not to join the board. Instead, he seems set on acquiring the company and taking it private.
Elon Musk Explains Why He Wants To Buy Twitter
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Musk explained why he wanted to buy the company at TED 2022: A New Era, which was being held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it is just really important that people have the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law,” he explained.
He stated that he also wants to “open source the algorithm” to improve trust in the social media service.
“This is not a way to make money,” Musk stated. “My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don’t care about the economics at all.”
However, he admitted, “I’m not actually sure I will be able to acquire it.”
He admitted that it’s possible that he might be able to make the deal. He compared it to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who owns “Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp, and [has] a shared ownership structure that will have Mark Zuckerberg the 14th still owning those entities.”
Elon Musk Says That Twitter Acquisition Is Important To A ‘Healthy Democracy’
Musk seemed to indicate that his acquisition of Twitter was important to maintaining a “healthy democracy” in the United States and called for free speech while staying in the bounds of the law.
“If in doubt, let the speech, let it exist,” he said. “If someone you don’t like is allowed to say something you don’t like, it’s d— annoying. [But] when someone you don’t like says something you don’t like, that is a function of a healthy free speech situation.”
He also said that it was important for people to be able to gain a deeper understanding of Twitter’s algorithm and any changes that are made to it.
He explained, “I won’t personally be in there editing tweets, but you would know if something was done.”
At this time, it’s unclear how serious Musk’s offer is. Cowen analyst John Blackledge wrote, “The current offer is likely too low for TWTR’s shareholders/Board to approve the deal at essentially the midpoint of 1-year trading range. We also do not view internet and/or media strategic players coming to the table at this point, as a deal with the large Digital ad platforms [like Google, Facebook, or Amazon] would likely not pass regulatory scrutiny.”
Musk said that there is a “Plan B” if Twitter rejects his initial offer, but did not state what that was.
If you buy twitter can you delete the combine photo? @elonmusk
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 14, 2022
Shortly after the news of Musk’s potential purchase went public, quarterback Tom Brady commented on the news, asking, “If you buy twitter can you delete the combine photo?” and tagged Elon Musk.
Elon Musk’s Text Message Acquisition Go Public
On Thursday, the text messages that were shared in the securities filing were published by The Hollywood Reporter. The text messages that Elon Musk sent to Bret Taylor about the potential takeover can be read below.
“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.”
“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% 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. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
“As I indicated this weekend, I believe that the company should be private to go through the changes that need to be made.”
“After the past several days of thinking this over, I have decided I want to acquire the company and take it private.”
“I am going to send you an offer letter tonight, it will be public in the morning.”
“Are you available to chat?”