Elon Musk's "best and final" offer to buy Twitter is a fat $43 billion ... straight cash, too!!!
The current richest man in the world says he's made the astronomical 11-figure pitch to buy the social media platform, and make no doubt about it ... he's playing hardball. Elon says if his offer is not accepted, "I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder."
That's a significant threat because he currently holds more than 9% of Twitter's shares -- and if he were to pull out, it might send the stock's value tumbling.
Appropriately, Elon tweeted ... "I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy."
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
Musk had been a vocal opponent of some of Twitter's moves to silence users, before he heavily invested in the platform. His $43 bil offer comes out to about $54.20 per share -- which is 18 percent higher than the stock's Wednesday closing price ... so he's not lowballing 'em.