Twitter stated on Monday that its board of directors has approved a bid from billionaire Elon Musk to purchase the social media business and take it private, according to a press release.
Mr. Musk, who has stated that he wants to purchase Twitter in order to restore the platform’s adherence to free speech principles, will pay $54.20 per share in cash for the company, which he intends to take private. Mr. Musk has previously stated that he wants Twitter to adhere to free speech principles and to free the algorithm, and open source the code.
“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 included in the press release announcing the $44 billion deal. “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.”
“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders,” Twitter board chair Bret Taylor said.
Leading up to the announcement, trading in Twitter’s shares was temporarily halted. Before the delay, Twitter shares were trading at $51.98 per share, suggesting that investors were unsure whether or not the acquisition would really go through.
This is nothing new, as billionaires have a history of buying media companies, and Musk is paying more than 175 times the amount that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post in 2013 when he purchased the company.
Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, said, “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.” Nonetheless, according to the sources, Twitter would be permitted to accept an offer from a third party in exchange for paying Musk a break-up fee.
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]