Elon Musk has officially bought Twitter. The Tesla CEO added the new title of 100% stakeholder in the company to his resume on Monday after he purchased the site for a whopping $44 billion — or for $54.20 a share, a 38%premium over the company's share price this month, according to a press release. The deal, per CNN, puts "the world's richest man in charge of one of the world's most influential social media platforms."
"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. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."
Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair, added, "The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."
In recent weeks, Musk has been hinting at a desire to fully acquire the site. After he revealed he had taken a more than 9% stake in the company in March, Musk, in an SEC filing last week, offered to pay $54.20 a share, a deal that would value the company at around $41 billion, for 100% ownership of Twitter. At the time, Musk shared that he intended to take the company private, noting that his proposal is his "best and final offer" and that if it is not accepted, he will have to "reconsider my position as a shareholder."
"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," the entrepreneur wrote in a letter to Twitter's Chairman of the Board Bret Taylor. "However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed."
Just a day later, and after Twitter put a so-called poison pill in place to prevent the SpaceX CEO from increasing his stake in the company beyond 15%, Musk revealed he already lined up commitments worth $46.5 billion to finance a Twitter takeover deal. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Musk revealed that he had two debt commitment letters from Morgan Stanley and other unnamed financial institutions and one equity commitment letter from himself to finance the deal. He added that he was "seeking to negotiate" a definite acquisition agreement and "is prepared to begin such negotiations immediately."
That filing seemingly got the ball rolling on the acquisition, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that Musk on Friday met with several shareholders privately. Twitter's board then reportedly met on Sunday to evaluate Musk's offer, with sources telling both the WSJ and The New York Times on Monday that a deal was imminent. According to anonymous employees, "obtaining commitments for the financing was a turning point for how the board viewed Mr. Musk's bid of $54.20 a share, enabling the company's 11 board members to seriously consider his offer." Seemingly hinting that a deal was coming, Musk tweeted Monday, "I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."