"we believe it is the best path forward"
Billionaire Elon Musk has struck a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
He will pay $54.20 cash per share for the social media company, which will now be taken private after days of negotiations between Mr Musk and the board.
Mr Musk made a shock bid and while Twitter initially rebuffed the bid, it will now ask shareholders to vote to approve the deal.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal 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.”
The deal represents a 38% premium from Twitter’s closing price on April 1, 2022, the day before Mr Musk made a move for the company by announcing his nine per cent stake.
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.”
In a statement, Twitter said the deal had “been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors” and that it was expected to close in 2022 if approved by shareholders.
According to Forbes, Elon Musk is the world’s richest man, with an estimated net worth of $273.6 billion.
This is due to his shareholding in Tesla as well as running SpaceX.
In a statement, Mr Musk said:
“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.
“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 spambots, and authenticating all humans.
“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
???? Yesss!!! ???? pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Earlier on April 25, 2022, Mr Musk had urged his “worst critics” to stay on Twitter, before the agreement announcement was made.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.”
Mr Musk has made the free speech issue a central one, leaving his critics to suggest that he will allow banned right-wing figures such as Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene back onto the platform.
It is not known who will lead the company following the takeover.