Elon Musk Admits of Hostile Bid for Twitter: ‘I Don’t Care About the Economics at All’

“This is not a sort of way to make money,” the Tesla CEO claims

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Elon Musk revealed in a TED 2022 interview on Thursday that he is not exactly sure he will be able to fully acquire Twitter after making an all-cash offer of $43 billion — and that he doesn’t “care about the economics at all” in his attempt to take over the social media giant.

The Tesla CEO may have the “sufficient assets” to do so, he said Thursday, but he has not revealed anything on how exactly he plans to pay for Twitter. The possibilities could include going to his investment partners or leveraging his stock at Tesla.

“I’m not sure that I will actually be able to acquire it. … I could technically afford it,” he said, adding that his focus is less on raising the business fortunes of the company than in improving the product — which may require converting it to a private company that is not bound by fiduciary concerns. “But this is not a sort of way to make money,” he said. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”

Some of the platform changes he seeks could potentially make Twitter less profitable as a business. Since earlier this month, when he publicly disclosed buying a 9.2% stake in the social platform, he has discussed a range of user concerns that he would like the platform to change from content moderation to reducing scam bots.

The Twitter board is currently reviewing Musk’s proposal to acquire it for $54.20 a share in a deal that values the company at $43 billion. In his SEC filing, Musk said he would take the company private and “unlock” its “extraordinary potential.”

Musk also insisted that his was a “best and final” offer — though during his TED interview he also hinted that he had a Plan B if the board rejected his offer. “I am not playing the back-and-forth game,” he said in his letter to the Twitter board, included in the SEC filing. “I have moved straight to the end.”

Musk is offering an 18.2% premium on what Twitter shares closed on Wednesday. But Twitter has seen shares trading above $60 within the last year. Still, Musk noted that his offer represents a 54% premium over the company’s value before he began investing in it in recent months.