Three weeks after taking a 9.2% stake in Twitter, Elon Musk has succeeded in his attempts to take over the company. After a volatile negotiation period, the company’s board of directors accepted Musk’s offer to take the company private in a cash deal that values Twitter at $54.20 per share, a slight premium over the $51.53 share price it was valued at before trading was halted.
“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” the company’s board chair Bret Taylor said in a statement. “The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
When Elon Musk initially announced his offer to take the company private, few expected that the deal had any real chance of materializing. For one, Musk has been known to use Twitter to troll and make offers that he had little intention of following through on. On top of that, Musk offered no details about how he planned to finance the $44 billion acquisition. Twitter’s board also chose to invoke a “poison pill,” a common tactic used by public companies to avoid hostile takeovers by diluting their stock price.
However, more serious discussions picked up over the weekend once Musk demonstrated to the board that he had secured financing through investment banking and equity financing. With that in place, the board was forced to take his offer more seriously and ultimately concluded that his offer to purchase Twitter for $54.20 was in the best interest of shareholders.
The acquisition has been polarizing, with prominent voices predicting everything from Musk turning Twitter into a free speech utopia to fears that the richest man in the world will use his outsized influence to silence dissenters.
While Musk has been vocal about his distaste for Twitter’s moderation policies and bans, he has offered few specifics about how he plans to improve the product. At a TED Talk last week, he said that he hoped to make the site’s proprietary algorithm “open source,” and he recently tweeted that “a social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.”