Over the weekend, Elon Musk tweeted: "Is Twitter dying?" If it is, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO thinks he's the one who can save it, and he's opened up his wallet to make his "best and final offer." In a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk announced his launch of a $43 billion hostile takeover of the social media platform, offering $54.20 per share in cash, reports Bloomberg. That bid would be a 54% premium over the Jan. 28 closing price, and it's one that Musk, who now owns a 9.2% share in Twitter, thinks shouldn't be refused.
"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 his letter to Twitter Chair Bret Taylor, disclosed in the SEC filing, per CNBC. If the company doesn't go private, Musk added, it can "neither thrive nor serve" as it stands. "My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder," he wrote. Twitter shares leaped 18% in premarket trading after the announcement.
Bloomberg notes that Musk, now worth about $260 billion, can afford to scoop up Twitter, which has a market valuation of about $37 billion. Still, Adam Crisafulli of the Vital Knowledge marketing intel firm tells the outlet that Musk's per-share offer will likely be "too low" for either Twitter's board or other shareholders to bite at. The news comes after a tumultuous month for Musk and Twitter, which started out with Musk becoming the company's biggest shareholder and joining the board, then Twitter announcing he wouldn't be joining the board after all. (There's a lawsuit against Musk in play involving how he acquired his Twitter shares.)