After a whole day of “Will he?” and “Won’t he?”, Twitter and Elon Musk have arrived at a deal and it’s done. Musk now owns Twitter and the billionaire paid $44 billion for it.
It was reported earlier on Monday that Musk had managed to put together a $46.5 billion funding package to acquire the micro-blogging platform and conversations were on between board members and Musk to settle on terms of the deal.
Twitter announced late on Monday 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”. Once this transaction is complete Twitter will become a “privately held company”.
The terms of the agreement state that Twitter’s stockholders “will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction”. This purchase price represents a 38 per cent premium to Twitter’s stock price at closing on April 1 this year, the last trading day before Musk disclosed his 9.3 per cent stake in the company.
"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.
"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,” said Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO.
"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 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,” Musk said.
When Musk had initially made his offer, the Twitter board had opposed it in a “poison pill defence against any unwanted takeover approach”, but they changed their mind over time.
New York Times reported early on Monday that Twitter was “nearing a deal” and was in discussions with Musk regarding it. The “timeline for a transaction and the size of any fees paid should the sale fall apart” was also a part of the discussions, according to NYT.
“The company's decision to engage with Musk, taken earlier on Sunday, does not mean that it will accept his $54.20 per share bid…It signifies, however, that Twitter is now exploring whether a sale of the company to Musk is possible on attractive terms,” Reuters had reported.
Musk has been tweeting away through the day making people think that things were indeed going his way while discussions with Twitter went on. He first started by saying that he was “moving on” from “making fun of Bill Gates” on April 24.
He followed that up with a really strange tweet about love and rain.
And finally, when the rumours had it that the deal was almost done with only the announcement remaining, Musk tweeted:
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means”.
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