Billionaire Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $41.39bn, according to a regulatory filing.
The Tesla chief executive’s offer price of $54.20 per share was 38% higher than the closing price of Twitter’s stock on 1 April, the last trading day before his investment of 9.2% in the company was publicly announced.
“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,” he said in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor.
“Since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.
“Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
“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 added.
It comes just days after he rejected a seat on the social media company’s board.
Taking the board seat would have stopped him from a possible takeover of the company.
Musk already owns 73,486,938 Twitter shares, which are currently worth £3.3bn.
He is a frequent user of Twitter and has more than 80 million followers, but he has recently been critical of its approach to free speech and said he was giving “serious thought” to building a new social media platform.