by: Kaitlin Hartley
The richest man in the world, valued at just over 260 billion dollars, has made an offer to buy Twitter shortly after becoming its largest shareholder. Musk currently holds over 9% of shares in the company and now he wants the rest.
In true Elon Musk style, he announced the offer by tweeting it out, including the paperwork to go with it.
Musk offered to purchase the company at $54.20 a share, which values the offer at over $43 billion. He has also publicly said through tweets that he plans to make Twitter a private company.
Included in the offer was Musk’s subtle threat to sell all the stock he has in the company if the deal does not go through. There was also a script included that quoted Musk saying,
“I am not playing the back and forth game. I have moved straight to the end… this is not a threat, it is simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made.”
The saga of Musk and Twitter certainly did not start recently. The billionaire has been a frequent user of Twitter, posting memes, and updates about SpaceX, mixed with light-hearted jokes and serious tweets about social issues. Using Twitter has been very beneficial for ‘Dogecoin’, the cryptocurrency Musk has some stake in, as it fluctuates based on Musk’s tweets. Currently, Dogecoin is soaring as the Tesla CEO’s offer of buying Twitter is out in the open.
While Dogecoin could potentially go up, it’s predicted that Twitter’s stock could crash by 20 percent if Twitter rejects Musk’s offer.
Earlier this month, Musk had purchased 9.2 percent of Twitter through stocks, and Twitter offered him a seat on the board of directors – a move that would prevent Musk from ever buying out the whole company. Board directors are capped at owning a little under 15 percent of the company.
Shortly after joining the board of directors, Elon Musk rejected that offer and in a large reversal move, offered to simply buy the company. Musk’s reasons for purchasing Twitter are not for money, but to allow free speech as the billionaire is a large believer that free speech is essential to democracy. At the end of March, he released a Twitter poll asking his followers if Twitter allows them free speech, stating “the consequences of this poll will be important.” A majority of answers said no.
“I think that it’s very important to have an inclusive arena for free speech,” Musk said while at TED in Vancouver.
There is a line drawn in the sand as to whether Musk is a hero for the offer or another billionaire villain. The tweets that followed his offer have been either memes supporting the SpaceX chief engineer, or critical tweets such as:
In a poll done asking people if they think Twitter would be a better place with Elon Musk as the owner, 67 percent agreed Twitter would be, while 33 percent said no.
I have reached out directly to Musk via Twitter to ask what changes users can expect if Twitter does accept his offer; so far, no reply.
At this time, Twitter has made no decision on whether it will accept the mighty offer.