Updated: Apr 26
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter Inc. for $44 billion, using one of the biggest leveraged buyout deals in history to take private a 16-year-old social networking platform that has become a hub of public discourse and a flashpoint in the debate over online free speech.
Investors will receive $54.20 for each Twitter share they own, the company said in a statement Monday. The price is 38% more than the stock’s close on April 1, the last business day before Musk disclosed a significant stake in the company, sparking a share rally.
Musk, one of Twitter’s most prolific users with more than 83 million followers, began amassing a stake of about 9% in January. By March, he had ramped up his criticism of Twitter, alleging that the company’s algorithms are biased and feeds cluttered with automated junk posts. He also suggested Twitter’s user growth was inflated by bots. After rejecting an invitation to join the company’s board, on April 14 he offered to take Twitter private, saying he’d make the platform a bastion of free speech and dropping other hints about the changes he’d make as owner.