On Monday, the Twitter board agreed to accept Elon Musk’s offer to buy the social media company. Musk said he will take Twitter private amid an effort to restore “free speech” to the social platform.
Twitter shareholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock, which will value the agreement at $44 billion, or a 38 percent price premium to Twitter’s share price on April 1, when Musk disclosed his 9 percent stake in the company. Musk secured $25.5 billion of fully committed debt and margin loan financing and is himself providing an approximately $21 billion equity commitment, according to a statement by Twitter. He will take the company private.
The deal is expected to close in 2022 subject to the approval of Twitter shareholders and regulatory agencies.
Musk, who is already the chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, and the founder of the underground tunnel company the Boring Company, now adds the social media giant Twitter to his stable. Musk’s commitment toward Twitter was never fully established until now. His on-again, off-again stance begun in 2018 with a tweet Musk issued that claimed that he was securing financing to buy Twitter and take it private, a tweet he later said was a joke after an SEC investigation. Of course, those are the very actions Musk took today.
Musk later posted a December tweet that Bloomberg described as “depict[ing] [Twitter CEO Parag] Agrawal as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Dorsey as Soviet secret police head Nikolai Yezhov being shoved into water.” Musk also asked, via tweet, whether his followers believed that Twitter preserved free speech.
“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. “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.”
Twitter will not hold a conference call to announce the move, but will issue its first quarter earnings on April 28.