So Elon went and did it.
After buying a 9% slice of Twitter, Elon Musk decided he wanted the whole pie, offering $54.20 a share for Twitter yesterday... for a total price tag of $43bn.
In a letter publicly disclosed, Musk promised to "unlock" the "extraordinary potential" of Twitter. If talking financially, Musk has a point. Since its IPO in 2013 Twitter's share price has mostly been below where it started. Slow user growth and a lack of user monetization (admittedly two things rivals Pinterest and SNAP have also contended with), has seen Twitter dramatically underperform Facebook (Meta).
But Musk says he's not talking "financially", saying yesterday that he doesn't care about "the economics" of buying Twitter, instead hoping to foster an "inclusive arena for free speech".
Is the funding secured?
Whether Musk cares about the economics or not, they are relevant, particularly given that 4 years ago Musk said (on Twitter of all places) that he was planning to take Tesla private, with "funding secured". It wasn't.
And so, even for the world's richest person, $40 billion is a chunk of change that's hard to come by without liquidating a lot of his Tesla shares (which would trigger a tax event) or borrowing. For what it's worth, Twitter's shares are trading at about $45 as we write this, some way off the $54.20 Musk has offered, suggesting a decent amount of investor skepticism that this deal actually happens.