Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

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Elon Musk has launched a $43 billion hostile takeover bid for Twitter, the social network the eccentric billionaire behind Tesla uses as a hobby to connect with his 81 million followers – he says he believes the platform is essential to the functioning of democracy.

At a TED conference on Thursday, Musk unveiled his plan to make Twitter private, saying he sees the platform as a way to encourage conversation and potentially even prevent international conflict. However, he acknowledged that he would be blamed for the problems if he owned it, and even before that his proposal might have failed.

“My strong intuitive understanding is that having a maximally reliable and broadly inclusive public platform is extremely important for the future of civilization,” he said. “The economy doesn’t interest me at all”

Offer to take the company privately filing of securities Wednesday’s $54.20 stock marks a major escalation in Musk’s weeks-long battle for influence at the social media company after he bought more than 9 percent and flirted with a seat on the board. In the filing, he described it as “the best and last offer.” If not accepted, “I will have to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” he said.

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Twitter confirmed in a press release Thursday that it had received an “unsolicited, non-binding offer” from Musk. The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine what action it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter shareholders.”

As CEO of electric car company Tesla and space company SpaceX, Musk is known for his somewhat brash job descriptions, some of which are inconspicuous. Musk tweeted that he had “financial security” to privately buy Tesla at $420 per share in 2018, but was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission when that deal failed. It also announces products like the Cybertruck, often on a faster-than-possible timeline.

The price of the takeover offer—$54.20 per share—could be a veiled reference to the previous episode that got Musk in trouble with securities regulators.

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While Musk is the richest man in the world, he is worth $259 billion. Bloomberg Billionaires Index, some analysts questioned whether he had enough liquid assets to buy Twitter. Most of his wealth is tied to his companies. At the TED conference on Thursday, Musk reassured listeners that he did.

“Technically I can afford it,” he said.

According to financial documents, Musk dumped billions worth of Tesla shares starting at the end of last year and began buying Twitter shares at the end of January. Musk said he plans to sell 10 percent of his stake in the electric car company, the most valuable automaker. Tesla’s over $1 trillion valuation outstrips the social media network it wants to buy by nearly $34 billion.

Musk said he plans to allow the maximum number of shareholders allowed to remain in the private company.

Some shareholders tweeted that they did not approve of the plan. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted on Thursday that he rejected the offer, saying he didn’t think it came close to the company’s true value.

Musk returned to Twitter, asking the prince to reveal how much of Twitter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia owns, and to voice the country’s views on “journalists’ freedom of expression.”

US intelligence concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who criticizes the Saudi government, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Meanwhile, some investors and analysts covering his two main ventures are concerned that Musk’s takeover could distract from his ambitions to revolutionize the automotive and space industries. Musk has others: the tunneling company The Boring Company and the Neuralink company, which is trying to implant computer chips in people’s brains.

At the TED conference, Musk referred to Twitter as the “de facto town square” and expressed that he saw the importance of the site for the future of democracy and civilization. He said that while the process was complicated, he believed he had the money to make it happen. musk said wants Twitter’s algorithm will be “open source,” recalling a poll it conducted on its website on March 24. His comments show that he believes Twitter is highlighting or even suppressing certain content.

Musk said such a thing “should be made visible for all to see”. [what] measures have been taken.” Twitter adds tags to add context to posts it finds misleading, but says does not limit content based on an individual’s “opinions or ideas”.

In a letter to Twitter President Bret Taylor, Musk said he believes the company has “the potential to be a worldwide free speech platform.”

Freedom of expression is “a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” he added. But since his investment, he has realized that “the company in its current state will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

The SEC file also contained text and audio messages related to the debate. In a voicemail apparently from Tesla CEO Musk, “I don’t play the back and forth game… I went straight to the end,” adding his offer, adding, “This is a high price and your shareholders will love it.”

He said he would have to reconsider his position on Twitter if his deal wasn’t accepted.

“It’s not a threat, it’s not a good investment without changes that need to be made,” he said, according to the dossier.

On April 5, Twitter surprised employees and investors by announcing that Musk would join the board of directors. But days later, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk was backing down.

“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities will not change,” Agrawal said. “The decisions we make and how we implement them have not changed. The decisions we make and how we implement them are in our hands, no one else’s. Let’s reduce the noise and focus on our business and what we’re building.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk won’t join Twitter’s board after all

CFRA stock researcher Angelo Zino stated in an email to The Post that joining the board would “cuff” him from buying the company outright.

Membership on the Board also gives Musk certain fiduciary responsibilities, such as requiring him to act in the best interests of the company.

Over the weekend, Musk sent the company a series of sharp-edged tweets. “Is Twitter dying?” He asked early on Saturday morning. He continued to question Twitter’s most popular users, its San Francisco headquarters, and the process of verifying accounts. Before he finished, he made an obscene joke about changing the company’s name.

Musk’s takeover bid was met with mixed reactions on Thursday.

Some right-wing politicians applauded Musk’s takeover, sparking a wider backlash against the social media platform. forbidden former president Donald Trump in early 2021.

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Col.) said Musk deserves a medal for his “patriotic and necessary” fight for free speech. Nigel Farage, a former politician who is a British broadcaster and leader of the Brexit movement, Called Musk’s takeover bid The best news for freedom of expression in years.

Rep. “The panic from the blue-approved media after Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter is fear of losing the ability to censor conservatives online and silence free speech they don’t like,” Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said.

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Others worried that Musk might have too much control over a platform that many consider essential to freedom of expression. Fred Wilson, a New York-based venture capitalist, said the platform is too important to be owned and controlled by a single person.

Wilson, “It must be the other way around” tweeted out. “Twitter should not be decentralized as a protocol that powers an ecosystem of communications products and services.”

At the TED conference on Thursday, Musk attacked the Securities and Exchange Commission, a common foe since he spat with the 2018 regulator that cost him $20 million in tweets and Tesla’s chairmanship of the board.

“These bastards, I was unlawfully compelled to make concessions to the SEC,” he said, repeating his argument in a recent letter to a federal judge.

Reed Albergotti contributed to this report.

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