Twitter’s board of directors unanimously agreed to Elon Musk’s offer to purchase the platform at a price of $44 billion, the company said Monday. This brings the 16-year-old company under the control of one of the world’s richest people.
Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock once the transaction closes, NBC News reported. “It’s a 38 percent premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1 — the last trading day before Musk disclosed his approximately 9 percent stake in Twitter,” the outlet added.
South African-born billionaire Musk had earlier criticized Twitter for not living up to free speech principles. He has more than 81 million Twitter followers, making him one of the most popular figures on the platform.
“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.”
It is now unclear who would run the new company.
Musk is the world’s richest man, according to Forbes. He has a net worth of $219 billion largely due to his shareholding in electric vehicle maker Tesla and his leading position at aerospace firm SpaceX.