The social media guant Twitter has confirmed on Monday Billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk will acquire the company in a deal worth $44 billion.
Twitter agreed to be taken over at $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the stock price when it was revealed that Mr. Musk had become the company’s biggest shareholder.
Twitter shares received a bump from the news and rose over 5% in afternoon trading.
Musk has been a major critic of Twitters censorship algorithms and how strictly content content is moderated on the platform. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” he tweeted this month.
“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,” he added.
“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
The chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor had sully assessed Musks offer and it is “the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders”.
It is not immediately clear who will lead the new company. The firm company is currently led by Parag Agrawal, who took over from co-founder and former boss Jack Dorsey last November.
Musk, in his offer document, told Twitter’s board: “I don’t have confidence in management.”
Musk also posted a message on Twitter encouraging all his critics to stay on Twitter because he respects their freedom of speech.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means”