Twitter’s board has accepted a $44 billion (€39 billion) offer to sell the company to Elon Musk, handing control of the influential social media platform to the world’s richest man.
“Twitter’s Board undertook a thoughtful and comprehensive process to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and funding,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s president, said in a statement Monday.
He added: “The proposed transaction will generate a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter shareholders.”
Twitter shareholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each Twitter common share they own at the closing of the transaction. The purchase price represents a 38 percent premium over the company’s closing price on April 1, the day before Musk announced that he had amassed a 9 percent stake in the company.
After Musk first made his bid for the platform, Twitter released a poison pill to limit his ability to gain a substantial shareholding. But the board was forced to come to the bargaining table over the weekend after it secured financing for the deal.
If completed, it would be one of the largest leveraged buyouts in history, a feat few on Wall Street thought possible given the size of the transaction.
Trading in the company’s shares was halted prior to the announcement.
Musk, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83 million followers, said he plans to “unlock” the company’s potential to be “the platform for free speech around the world” and vowed to change his content moderation policies. .
Republicans are hopeful this could pave the way for Donald Trump to return to the platform, after the former president was ousted for repeatedly violating their rules on hate speech and disinformation.
“I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter, because that’s what free speech means,” Musk tweeted Monday.
The White House did not comment specifically on Elon Musk’s decision to buy Twitter, but said President Joe Biden had long been concerned about the power of social media platforms.
“Our concerns are not new,” said Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman. She said social media platforms needed to be held accountable.
“The president has long spoken about his concerns about the power of social media platforms, including Twitter and others, to spread misinformation.”
But he said the White House would not comment on an individual transaction.
Separately, former President Donald Trump told Fox News that he did not plan to return to Twitter even if new owner Elon Musk lifts the platform’s lifetime ban that had been placed on him after the 6/6 riots. January, when his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington to try to delay the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president in early 2020.
Trump said he will start using his own Truth Social platform instead of Twitter within the next week. – The Financial Times with additional reporting by Martin Wall