Elon musk has bought Twitter for $44bn (£34.5bn) after the directors at Twitter accepted takeover offer from the billionaire Elon Musk who made the shock bid less than two weeks ago. He said he would unlock the “tremendous potential” Twitter has.
The transaction is now subject to a shareholder vote. The firm initially rebuffed Mr Musk’s bid, but it will now ask shareholders to vote to approve the deal.
Musk is the world’s richest person, according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of $273.6bn mostly due to his shareholding in electric vehicle maker Tesla which he runs. He also leads the aerospace firm SpaceX.
Discussions over the deal, which last week appeared uncertain, accelerated over the weekend after Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financing details of his offer. Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at the proposed $54.20 per share price.
“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,” Musk said in a statement. He also called for a series of changes from relaxing its content restrictions to eradicating fake accounts.
Shares were up about 6% following the news. The deal represents a near 40% premium to the closing price the day before Musk disclosed he had bought a more than 9% stake. Even so, the offer is below the $70 range where Twitter was trading last year.
In a prepared statement the company said Musk secured $25.5 billion of debt and margin loan financing and is providing a $21 billion equity commitment.
It was not immediately clear what the breakup fee would be or who would run the new company.
Although it is only about a tenth of the size of far larger social media platforms like Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, it has been credited with helping spawn the Arab Spring uprising and accused of playing a role in the January 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.
After Twitter banned former President Donald Trump over concerns around incitement of violence following last year’s U.S. Capitol attack by his supporters, Musk tweeted: “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.”