By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
SAN FRANCISCO (Worthy News) – Multibillionaire businessman Elon Musk has secured $46.5 billion to buy Twitter, a move conservatives hope will bring back freedom of speech to the American microblogging and social networking service.
Musk says he is ready for a tender offer to purchase some or all company shares directly from its stockholders. Last week, Musk announced an offer to buy the social media company for $54.20 per share, or about $43 billion.
Musk now says he is putting up $21 billion of his own money as part of the package to restore Twitter to its former glory.
On top of that equity, Musk raises a further $12.5 billion for the offer via a loan secured against his shares in Tesla, the electric carmaker that he runs as CEO. Morgan Stanley, the U.S. investment bank, is leading a group of financial institutions providing $13 billion in debt financing.
If he succeeds, it could potentially mean the return of currently banned Christians and conservatives such as former U.S. President Donald J. Trump and others. Commentators say the world’s richest man seems intent on preserving Twitter as a means for himself and others to continue influencing vast audiences without interference.
Twitter is still at the center of culture-war debates and remains a pulpit from which to troll public discourse, even after the ban of Trump, in 2021.
Musk has suggested that his acquisition quest is less about increasing the company’s profits—than preserving Twitter’s capacity to continue influencing vast audiences without interference. “I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” Musk told a TED conference in Vancouver on April 14.
“Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” he added.
Even before his stock purchase became public, Musk was tweeting to question if Twitter adhered to free-speech principles.
He suffered consequences because Twitter was taken seriously as a public platform.
In 2018, Musk faced fraud charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for tweeting that he had the funds to take his Tesla company private at $420 a share. That move led to his stepping down as the company’s chairman for three years.
And, he paid a $20 million fine. It appeared small change, or lunch money, for a man worth around $260 billion (with the ‘b’ of billion).
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