Elon Musk Strikes Deal To Buy Twitter In Historic $44 Billion Deal
Musk’s buyout of Twitter is the biggest deal to take a company private in more than 20 years.
Elon Musk closed a deal Monday to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion—a clear-cut victory by the world’s richest man to buy the hugely-influential social media network used by world leaders, celebrities and social influencers around the globe.
Twitter agreed to sell itself to Musk for $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the company’s share price this month when he revealed he was the firm’s single largest shareholder.
It would be the biggest-ever deal to take a company private in more than two decades, according to data compiled by Dealogic, reports the New York Times.
“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 announcing the deal. Musk said he wanted “to make Twitter better than ever.”
The blockbuster agreement caps what had seemed an improbable attempt by the famously mercurial Mr. Musk, 50, to buy the social media company — and immediately raises questions about what he will do with the platform and how his actions will affect online speech globally.
The billionaire, who has more than 83 million followers on Twitter and has romped across the service hurling gibes and memes, has repeatedly said he wants to “transform” the platform by promoting more free speech and giving users more control over what they see on it. By taking the company private, Mr. Musk could work on the service out of sight of the prying eyes of investors, regulators and others.
Musk also tweeted on Monday from his official account: “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
The Times pointed out that Twitter is far from the biggest social media platform — it has more than 217 million daily users, compared with billions of daily users for Facebook and Instagram — but it “has had an outsized role in shaping narratives around the world. Political leaders have used it as a megaphone, while companies, celebrities and others have employed it for image-making and brand building.”
In a statement, Twitter’s chairman Bret Taylor said the Twitter board had “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.”