Tesla billionaire Elon Musk will be the new owner of Twitter.
After lengthy negotiations with the social media giant’s board, Musk’s proposed bid of about $44 billion was accepted.
“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 chairman Bret Taylor said the “proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for… stockholders”.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said he was “deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important”.
The transaction was unanimously approved by the board’s directors, for $54.20 a share, and is expected to close this year, pending the approval of the company’s stockholders and other conditions.
This share price is a 38 percent premium on Twitter’s closing price on April 1, 2022.
Before the news broke, Musk tweeted: “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
He had just weeks ago bought a 9 percent stake in the company before offering to buy it outright.
Earlier reports of the company nearing a deal with the richest person in the world saw Twitter’s shares jump more than 5 percent.
Musk this year bumped off Amazon founder Jeff Bezos from the top spot of Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List. At the time of writing, Musk has a net worth of $266.8 billion.