My phone is blowing up right now. Elon Musk wants to buy all of Twitter. All of it. $54.20 a share. That’s $43.4 billion.
Just a few weeks ago, Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder. Clearly, that wasn’t enough.
Reading in the New York Times, Musk sent a letter to Twitter’s chair, Bret Taylor. It says in part that if this offer is not accepted, he would “need to reconsider my position as shareholder.”
Musk also says, “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
If you have been following this story, Elon Musk bought a nine percent stake in Twitter. Twitter then said Musk would join the board. Days later, Musk said no thank you. Now, he wants to buy the whole thing. Wants to take it private.
The world’s richest man has a lot to say. He started Tesla and SpaceX. He likes being heard.
Here’s more of what he said: “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 goes on: “However, 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.”
Elon Musk says this is his “best and final offer.” It’s a pretty good one too. What he’s offering a share is about ten dollars more than its closing price yesterday.
The Twitter Board has not responded.
While Mr. Musk and I do not share the same tax bracket, I do think we agree on free speech. Our culture these days allows us to cancel those opinions we don’t want to hear.
I remember the days when we could listen to each other and agree to disagree. There’s the famous story about Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.
Politically, they agreed on pretty much nothing. Reagan, a Republican. O’Neill, a Democrat. Huge fights. Until…
O’Neill used to say that while they fought during work hours, they were friends after 6pm. President Reagan would even answer O’Neill’s calls by saying, “Tip, is it after 6pm?”
In his book, “Tip and The Gipper,” Chris Matthews says the two genuinely liked each other and at the end of the day had a drink together.
That seems like a long time ago. We are so fractured now. Not a lot of room for the other guy’s opinion.
Maybe Elon Musk is on to something here. Free speech. We used to say it was one of the foundations of our democracy.
I’m guessing the Founding Fathers never thought free speech would be found in a place called Twitter.