Elon Musk has slipped yet another pot joke into a major buyout proposal — and this time it’s his $41 billion bid to buy Twitter.
The billionaire issued a surprise offer to buy 100% of Twitter at $54.20 per share – a number that just happens to include a “420” reference to pot smoking.
The number has a special significance for pot enthusiasts – and for Musk himself, whose frequent inclusion of the reference in serious business dealings has spawned countless memes.
“I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” Musk said in a letter to Twitter board chairman Bret Taylor.
Just days earlier, Musk had joked about smoking weed at Twitter board meetings – sharing a meme of himself surrounded in smoke during his infamous 2018 appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“Twitter’s next board meeting is gonna be lit,” the meme said.
Musk’s most infamous reference to the number occurred on Aug. 7, 2018 – when he infamously tweeted that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420” with “funding secured.” At the time, Tesla was struggling through a cash crunch as it ramped up production of its flagship Model 3 sedan.
The tweet kicked off Musk’s lengthy legal dispute with the SEC, which sued the billionaire for allegedly making false or misleading statements. The agency said Musk’s use of “$420” was a weed references meant to impress his on-and-off girlfriend, the electronic pop star Grimes.
In a September 2018 filing, the SEC said Musk stated he used the number “because he had recently learned about the number’s significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend “would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price.”
Musk is currently fighting to be released from a consent decree with the SEC requires a Tesla attorney to vet all tweets about the electric car marker and its business before they can be posted.
Last month, Musk compared himself to the rapper Eminem in a court filing in which he alleged the SEC was infringing on his rights under the First Amendment.
Musk’s escalating battle with Twitter could lead to more trouble with the SEC. A Twitter shareholder is already suing the billionaire, alleging he failed to disclose that his stake in the company exceeded 5% within a required timeframe – artificially lowering the price.
Musk, the company’s largest individual shareholder, revealed his hostile takeover bid after he backed out of an agreement to take a seat on Twitter’s board. In an SEC filing early Thursday, he said “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company” to unlock its “extraordinary potential.”
“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” he added.