Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44bn, company to go private

Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44bn, company to go private

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Xinhua/Ding Ting/IANS)

San Francisco, April 26 (IANS) Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally caught an elusive Twitter bird for $44 billion, as the company's board decided to give in to his takeover bid with his "best and final" offer. Twitter announced late on Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Musk for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at nearly $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately-held company. The purchase price represents a 38 per cent premium to Twitter's closing stock price on April 1, which was the last trading day before Musk disclosed his nearly nine per cent stake in Twitter. "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," said Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair. Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, added that the company "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." The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders. "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," said Musk. "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," he added. Musk has secured $25.5 billion of fully committed debt and margin loan financing and is providing a nearly $21 billion equity commitment. With this, the world's richest man got hold of one of the most powerful social media platforms, where it enjoys the company of more than 83 million followers. The Tesla CEO had promised "significant improvements to Twitter in coming months". Some of the initial changes that Twitter will see under Musk is an Edit Button, which has been a popular demand among the users. In a March 24 tweet, Musk said Twitter's algorithm should be open-source.

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