According to papers filed with U.S. securities regulators, billionaire Elon Musk appears ready to continue his bid to take over Twitter, this time via a tender offer that would bypass the company's board and offer to buy stock directly from shareholders.
Twitter's board of directors last week voted unanimously to use a tactic called a "poison pill" to fend off Musk's attempt to acquire the company.
The papers show Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has secured $46.5 billion in financing for the offer of $54.20 per share.
Twitter "is committed to conducting a careful, comprehensive and deliberate review to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders," the company said in a statement Thursday.
The news only shows Musk could go forward with a tender offer, but apparently no decision has been made.
In addition to Musk, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America, Societie Generale, Mizuho Bank, BNP Paribas and MUFG could be involved in the deal.
They have reportedly agreed to finance $25.5 billion of the deal while Musk could cover the rest.
Twitter stock was trading flat on the development.
Under the poison pill plan, all Twitter shareholders except Musk could buy more shares at a discount. This would dilute the world's richest person's stake in the company and prevent him from recruiting a majority of shareholders supporting his move.
If Musk's ownership in Twitter grows to 15% or more, the poison pill would go into effect.
Last week, Musk, who was revealed as the company's largest individual shareholder, with 9.2% of the shares, later offered more than $43 billion, or $54.20 per share, to purchase the entire company.
Musk's offer would provide a substantial premium over Twitter's current stock price.
When Musk made his offer, he lamented the company's stance on free speech.
"I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy," Musk said in the filing. "I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form."
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.