After a two-week battle against opposition from the platform’s board members, self-declared free speech absolutist Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and currently the richest man in the world, has succeeded in his bid to buy Twitter.
In a press release, the Twitter board announced that they had reached an agreement with the multi-billionaire to sell 100 percent of the company at Musk’s original price of $54.20 per share.
Via PR Newswire:
Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. 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.”
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.”
Musk had been slowly acquiring shares in Twitter in the first quarter, becoming the company’s largest shareholder at the end of March.
His highly publicized campaign to take the company private kicked off twelve days ago, when he offered to buy 100 percent of the publicly-traded company.
The prospect of a self-declared “free speech absolutist” taking over the company has led to outrage from the platform’s progressive users, as well as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.
On the road to acquiring Twitter, Musk clashed with Twitter board member Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, who opposed the takeover attempt.
The board also attempted to block Musk’s takeover by deploying a “poison pill” strategy, a corporate jiu-jitsu move intended to increase the costs of a takeover. It appears that these efforts have failed.
In his acquisition offer to Twitter, disclosed to the SEC, Musk unambiguously stated that the goal behind his purchase was the restoration of free speech on the platform.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” wrote Musk.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO reiterated his motivations in a comment accompanying the announcement of the sale.
“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.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.