Elon Musk to buy Twitter in $44 billion deal
Beneath the phrases of the deal, shareholders will obtain $54.20 in money for every share of Twitter inventory they personal, matching Musk’s authentic provide and marking a 38% premium over the inventory worth the day earlier than Musk revealed his stake within the firm.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital city sq. the place issues important to the way forward for humanity are debated,” Musk mentioned in an announcement Monday. “Twitter has super potential — I sit up for working with the corporate and the neighborhood of customers to unlock it.”
“The Twitter Board performed a considerate and complete course of to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a deliberate concentrate on worth, certainty, and financing,” Twitter unbiased board chair Bret Taylor mentioned in an announcement, calling the deal ” one of the best path ahead for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Twitter inventory was up practically 6% following the announcement of the deal, hovering round $51.84, simply shy of the provide worth. The deal is pending approval from shareholders and regulators.
In an inside message to staff obtained by CNN, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal mentioned he would maintain an all-hands assembly with Taylor on Monday afternoon to reply questions in regards to the deal. “I do know it is a important change and also you’re seemingly processing what this implies for you and Twitter’s future,” he mentioned.
What Musk means for Twitter
Musk is each a high-profile Twitter person and a controversial one. He has greater than 83 million followers on the platform, which he has used through the years for every part from sharing memes and discussing his corporations to insulting politicians, spreading deceptive claims about Covid-19 and making offensive remarks in regards to the transgender neighborhood.
Musk has repeatedly pressured in current days that his purpose is to bolster free speech on the platform and work to “unlock” Twitter’s “extraordinary potential.”
In his assertion Monday, Musk mentioned he needs to “make Twitter higher than ever by enhancing the product with new options, making the algorithms open supply to extend belief, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all people.” Individually, he mentioned in a tweet Monday that he hopes “even my worst critics stay on Twitter, as a result of that’s what free speech means.”
Nonetheless, some business specialists fear that Musk’s need without cost speech on Twitter may imply rolling again a number of the platform’s work to curb hate speech, misinformation, harassment and different dangerous content material. Others questioned whether or not Musk may restore former President Donald Trump’s account, which was eliminated early final yr for violating Twitter insurance policies towards inciting violence following the Capitol Riot. Such a transfer may have important ramifications for the upcoming 2024 US presidential election.
Whereas Twitter is smaller than some social media rivals, it has an outsized affect within the on-line and offline worlds as a result of it’s utilized by many politicians, public figures and journalists, and has generally acted as a mannequin for different platforms in the right way to deal with dangerous content material.
“Don’t enable Twitter to develop into a petri dish for hate speech, or falsehoods that subvert our democracy,” Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, mentioned in an announcement directed at Musk Monday following the deal.
A brand new and unsure period for Twitter
Within the days since Musk’s preliminary bid, many following the corporate questioned whether or not Twitter would attempt to discover one other purchaser, particularly after the corporate put in place a poison tablet to make it tougher for Musk to amass the corporate with out its approval.
However CFRA senior fairness analyst Angelo Zino mentioned Monday that Twitter’s board extra severely contemplating Musk’s provide might have come “from the Board’s realization that an alternate bid from a ‘white knight’ could also be tough to come back by, particularly following the decline in asset costs from social media corporations in current weeks/months.”
It isn’t clear whether or not Agrawal — who took over the CEO function from founder Jack Dorsey in November — will stay within the high job following the takeover. Musk beforehand tweeted a meme evaluating Agrawal to former Soviet chief Joseph Stalin. Musk additionally mentioned in his provide letter to purchase Twitter that he doesn’t “trust in administration.”
The deal may, nonetheless, put an finish to just about a decade of chaos at Twitter as a public firm, throughout which it has cycled by CEOs, grappled with an activist investor and struggled to ignite development and efficiently monetize its influential person base.
Agrawal mentioned in Monday’s assertion that “Twitter has a function and relevance that impacts the whole world,” He added: “Deeply happy with our groups and impressed by the work that has by no means been extra necessary.”
CNN Enterprise tech reporter Clare Duffy will be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CNN’s Brian Stelter and Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.