Mr Musk, who also runs the rocket company SpaceX, did not provide details of how he planned to finance his bid. Bloomberg estimates that he has slightly less than $3bn in cash, meaning he would have to borrow heavily or sell his Tesla stake to finance an individual bid.
Speaking at the Ted 2022 conference in Canada, he said: “I have sufficient assets, absolutely I can do it if possible,” he said, adding that he would welcome other Twitter shareholders remaining as investors.
However, he said: “I’m not sure I will be able to acquire it,” and said he had a plan B if his offer is rejected.
Mr Musk told Mr Taylor that his bid was a “best and final offer” and that “if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder”.
This led to speculation that he was deliberately making an offer that would be rejected in order to let him save face by selling his stake shortly after buying it.
The tycoon bought his shares for between $32 and $40 and would make a profit of around $600m if he sold out at the current price of $45.
Mr Musk said he would push for more content to be left online and that he wanted the company’s algorithms to be open sourced so that they could be publicly inspected for bias.
He said: “A good sign as to whether there’s free speech is, is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like.”
Mr Musk has also pushed for Twitter to introduce an edit button and to improve its subscription service so it is less dependent on advertising. He also asked if the platform is “dying” and pointed out that many of its most-followed accounts are celebrities who almost never tweet.