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Twitter seals deal to sell itself to Elon Musk for $44 billion

The deal was announced around 10 days after Musk, in what he described as the "best and final" offer, made a bid to acquire 100 percent stake in the social media giant for $54.20 a share.

April 26, 2022 / 01:23 AM IST
Elon Musk on April 2 revealed he held 9.2% stake in Twitter (Image: Reuters)

Elon Musk on April 2 revealed he held 9.2% stake in Twitter (Image: Reuters)


Microblogging site Twitter on April 25 finalised the deal to sell itself to Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla and the world's richest individual, for $44 billion.

The company, in a statement, said it has entered into a "definite agreement" to allow Musk to wholly acquire the entity in an all-cash deal "valued at approximately $44 billion".

"Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction," it said.

The transaction is expected to close in 2022, subject to approval from Twitter's shareholders and regulatory bodies.

The deal was announced around 10 days after Musk, in what he described as the "best and final" offer, made a bid to acquire 100 percent stake in the social media giant for $54.20 a share.

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The offer came days after the 50-year-old billionaire, in a regulatory filing on April 2, revealed that he held 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, which meant that he is the largest individual shareholder.

Twitter's independent board chair Bret Taylor, while commenting on the board's decision to finalise the buyout deal, said the decision was taken after a "thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal"

"The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders," Taylor said.

Musk, in a statement, said he aims at making Twitter "better than ever" and reiterated his belief in safeguarding 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. "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."

In an exchange filing on April 14, Musk had noted that he intended to "privately" transform Twitter and ensure that it adheres to the principle of free speech.

The company, under its current structure, could "neither thrive nor serve" the cause of free speech, he wrote.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced," Musk had stated.

Musk also issued a veiled threat to sell off his stake in Twitter if the deal does not sail through. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder," he had said.

Twitter, in its initial response to Musk's takeover bid, had adopted a poison pill strategy, that allows existing shareholders to increase their stake at a discount to prevent a hostile takeover. The Tesla CEO, however, retaliated by threatening to launch a tender offer that could allow him to formally register the shareholders' support for his offer.

A Reuters report on April 24 said Twitter's board decided to negotiate with Musk under intense pressure from the shareholders, who had urged the company to not let the deal slip away.

Musk's insistence that his bid for Twitter is his "best and final" had, however, emerged as a hurdle in the deal negotiations, the sources had said.

Active long-term shareholders, who together with index funds hold the biggest chunk of Twitter shares, have higher price expectations, some in the $60s-per-share, the Reuters report added, citing persons who were familiar with the developments. They are also more inclined to give Parag Agrawal, who became Twitter's chief executive in November, more time to boost the value of the company's stock, the sources had claimed.

"I don't believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk ($54.20 per share) comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects," Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Twitter shareholder, had tweeted.



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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 26, 2022 12:39 am
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