Elon Musk has clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person.
The sale, which was unanimously approved by Twitter’s 11 directors, caused Twitter shares to rise about 6% following the announcement.
ABC reports that discussions over the deal — which last week appeared uncertain — accelerated over the weekend after Mr Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financial details of his offer.
Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Mr Musk to buy the company at the proposed $54.20 per share.
The outspoken Tesla chief executive has said he wanted to buy Twitter because it was not living up to its potential as a platform for “free speech”.
He said it needed to be transformed as a private company in order to build trust with users and do better at serving what he calls the “societal imperative” of 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,”
Mr Musk said in a statement following the purchase.
“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.”
After Twitter banned former US president Donald Trump over concerns around incitement of violence following last year’s US Capitol attack
by his supporters, Mr Musk tweeted: “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.”
Mr Trump — whose company is building a rival to Twitter called Truth Social— said he would not return to Twitter, according to a Fox News interview.