It’s official: Elon Musk acquires Twitter in $44 billion deal
New Delhi, Apr 26: It is official. Twitter has accepted the $44 billion takeover offer from Elon Musk, one of the biggest-ever leveraged buyouts of a listed company.
Under the deal, shareholders will reportedly receive $54.20 per share. It is expected to close this year. The price is a 38% premium on Twitter's closing price on April 1, just before Musk announced a 9% stake in the company.
The chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla took a major stake in the social media firm earlier this month before making a formal purchase offer. Musk said he had lined up about $46.5 billion (€43.4 billion) in financing.
"The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders," said Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair.
"Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important," said Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO.
In a post on Twitter, shortly before the deal was announced, Musk said he hoped his "worst critics" would be allowed to remain on the platform.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Elon Musk said in a statement.
"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential - I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it," said Musk.
The self-proclaimed "free-speech absolutist" is known for blocking and disparaging his critics on Twitter. He has 83 million followers on the platform.
The deal was cemented roughly two weeks after the billionaire first revealed a 9 percent stake in the platform. Musk said last week that he had lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company's board to negotiate a deal.
Twitter said the transaction was unanimously approved by its board of directors. The 11-member board includes Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who has been planning to step down from the board in May. Twitter said the deal is expected to close sometime this year and is subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders and regulators.
Shares of Twitter Inc. rose 6% Monday to $52 per share. On April 14, Musk announced an offer to buy the social media platform for $54.20 per share. While the stock is up sharply since Musk made his offer, it is well below the high of $77 per share it reached in February 2021.
Musk has described himself as a "free-speech absolutist" but is also known for blocking or disparaging other Twitter users who question or disagree with him.
In recent weeks, he has voiced a number of proposed changes for the company, from relaxing its content restrictions - such as the rules that suspended former President Donald Trump's account - to ridding the platform of fake and automated accounts, and shifting away from its advertising-based revenue model.
Twitter had initially enacted an anti-takeover measure known as a poison pill that could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive. But the board decided to negotiate after Musk updated his proposal last week to show he had secured financing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
While Twitter's user base of more than 200 million remains much smaller than those of rivals such as Facebook and TikTok, the service is popular with celebrities, world leaders, journalists and intellectuals.
with agency inputs