Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter and take the company private succeeded on Monday, 11 days after the world’s wealthiest man first announced that he’d like to buy the social media firm.
After days of back and forth, Twitter’s board approved Musk’s approximately $44 billion offer Monday.
“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,” Musk said in a statement announcing the deal. “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.”
The company’s leadership initially tried to fend off the bid, adopting a “poison pill” measure that would make a hostile takeover difficult.
But Musk announced that he had $46.5 billion in financing lined up in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, prompting Twitter’s board to meet on Sunday to discuss the bid. Following that meeting, the board opened negotiations with Musk that stretched late into the night, according to reporting by the New York Times.
The deal values Twitter stock at around $54 per share, above the $39 per share that the stock was trading at before Musk’s interest in the company became clear in early April, when he purchased a 9% stake in the company, but also well below the stock’s 2021 high of $77 per share.
Musk stated that his interest in Twitter is motivated not by the company’s finances but by its role as a public forum and his belief that he could manage the platform better than its current leadership.
“Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” Musk said at a public interview on April 14, a day after he first announced his offer to buy the company. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”
He elaborated on this theme in his SEC filing, writing: “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,” and that he believes “the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”
This story is developing.