Elon Musk isn't satisfied with a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter. He wants the whole thing.
The Tesla CEO has offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, or $43 billion, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The move comes after Musk purchased a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, which made him the company's largest outside shareholder. He had previously been critical of Twitter, suggesting it does not facilitate free speech.
In the SEC filing, Musk says he "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." But he continues, "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."
Musk says this is his "best and final offer," and if it isn't accepted, "I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder."
After Musk's 9.2 percent stake in Twitter was revealed, the company initially announced he would also become a board member. "Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our board," Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said, while Musk promised to work with Twitter to make "significant improvements."
But in a surprise reversal, just days later, Agrawal announced Musk wouldn't be joining the board after all. "I believe this is for the best," Agrawal said. Had Musk become a board member, he would agree not to purchase more than a 14.9 percent stake in Twitter, so the announcement sparked speculation he could plan to increase his stake or try to buy the company.
In his SEC filing, Musk says that "Twitter has extraordinary potential," adding, "I will unlock it."