Twitter, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by one sole owner, Elon Musk. The buyout is for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon this transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.
Musk, who has more than 84 million followers on the platform, describes Twitter as the “digital town square where matters viral to the future of humanity are debated,” and commented that he wants to unlock the company’s potential.
The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which has the last trading day before Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter.
Bret Taylor, Twitter’s independent Board Chair, said, “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.”
By taking Twitter private, Musk wades into a long-running debate over free speech and how social-media giants prevent hate speech and attacks on their services – including through suspensions on bans that have seen high-profile users like Donald Trump suspended from the platform for violating rules after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capital in January 2021.
Musk’s deal also raises questions about the future of Twitter’s moneymaker: its advertising model. The billionaire said in an interview shortly after announcing his bid that this decision wasn’t made for monetary reasons.
Yet, Musk got a vote of support – in a series of tweets, no less – from Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who said “Elon is the singular solution I trust” to fix the company’s problems.