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Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter

Elon Musk: ‘My offer is my best and final offer.’ Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Elon Musk has launched a bid to buy Twitter for more than $40bn, saying he wants to release its “extraordinary potential” to boost free speech and democracy across the world.

In a surprise announcement, Mr Musk said he would pay $54.20 a share for Twitter, valuing it at about $40bn.

The Tesla chief executive and the world’s richest person revealed in a regulatory filing on Thursday that he had launched a hostile takeover of Twitter. The news came just days after he bought a 9.2% stake in the social media company and was subsequently offered a seat on the board, but then refused to take up the position.

In a letter to Bret Taylor, Twitter’s chair, Musk said the site was not thriving as a company or a tool for improving freedom of speech, and “needs to be transformed as a private company”.

Twitter's share price rose by 5.3% to $48.32 in early trading.

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