The agreement comes after weeks of the drama of uncertainty and rounds of trends across social media over the future of Twitter.
Twitter has agreed to sell the company for $44 billion to the world’s richest man and Tesla owner Elon Musk, giving him control of a social network with more than 200 million members.
The deal places Tesla’s CEO in command of a firm he has regularly slammed for failing to live up to its potential as a “free speech” platform. On Monday, Twitter’s stock increased 5% to $51.50 per share.
The agreement comes after weeks of the drama of uncertainty and rounds of trends across social media over Twitter’s future, which was sparked by Musk’s rise as the platform’s single largest shareholder on April 4th. On April 14, he announced a $43 billion acquisition proposal.
Twitter’s chief executive, Parag Agrawal, said in a tweet confirming the sale, “Twitter has a purpose and significance that influences the whole globe. We are extremely proud of our teams and inspired by work that has never been more important.”
To address the news, Agrawal is expected to hold an all-hands meeting for staff on Monday afternoon. Employees at Twitter were taken aback by Musk’s takeover, which was unexpected and contentious.
At first, Twitter’s board implemented a poison pill anti-takeover strategy that might have rendered a takeover effort prohibitively expensive. After Musk confirmed a funding package for the deal and shareholders warmed up to it, its initial reluctance to accept a transaction seemed to fade.
The social media company, which was founded in 2006, now has a market capitalization of approximately $40 billion. Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder, stepped down as CEO in November 2021, passing the helm to Agrawal, the company’s previous chief technical officer.
Musk, who has 83 million followers on Twitter, is a frequent user of the app and has shown interest in buying the firm as early as 2017. He has stated that Twitter should be turned into a private firm in order to gain user confidence and better serve what he refers to as the “societal imperative” of free expression.
On Monday, he wrote, “I hope that even my harshest detractors remain on Twitter since that is what free expression means.” Musk has recommended a number of changes to the firm in recent weeks, including easing content restrictions, removing fake and automated accounts, allowing editing, and moving away from an ad-based income model.