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Twitter board accepts Elon Musk's $44-billion offer to buy tech giant

1.21464012 Elon Musk

Wed, 27 Apr 2022 Source: GNA

Twitter announced on Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Tesla founder, Elon Musk, in a transaction valued at around $44 billion.

Once the transaction is completed, Twitter will become a privately held company, the tech giant said in a statement.

"The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing," Twitter's independent board chair, Bret Taylor, said.

Musk said "Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," adding that he wanted to make it "better than ever by enhancing the product with new features," including defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans.

Musk made the non-binding proposal to acquire all outstanding common Twitter stock not already owned by him earlier this month. Initially, Twitter adopted a so-called poison pill to fend off a potential hostile takeover.

Musk has more than 84 million followers on the social network and is one of its most active and prominent users. The billionaire had previously announced his intention to make the microblogging site a global platform for free speech, drawing criticism from experts.

"I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means," he tweeted on Monday a few hours before the announcement.

Two groups have complained particularly loudly about alleged censorship on Twitter: people whose posts were being acted on because of incorrect or misleading information about the coronavirus, and supporters of former US president Donald Trump, who may not claim on the platform that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Both camps lauded Musk's vision.

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey was also upbeat: "Elon's goal of creating a platform that is 'maximally trusted and broadly inclusive' is the right one," he tweeted. "This is the right path...I believe it with all my heart."

Others sounded the alarm. Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted: "This deal is dangerous for our democracy. Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain."

The civil rights organization American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also expressed concern.

"While Elon Musk is an ACLU card-carrying member and one of our most significant supporters, there's a lot of danger having so much power in the hands of any one individual," the organization's executive director Anthony Romero said in a statement.

Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) warned Musk against allowing Trump back on Twitter.

"Mr. Musk: free speech is wonderful, hate speech is unacceptable. Disinformation, misinformation and hate speech have NO PLACE on Twitter," Johnson tweeted.

"Protecting our democracy is of utmost importance, especially as the midterm elections approach. Mr. Musk: lives are at risk, and so is American democracy," Johnson added.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter board of directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders.

Under the agreement, stockholders are to receive $54.20 for each share of Twitter common stock.

The purchase price represents a 38% premium to the company's closing stock price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk disclosed he had become Twitter's largest shareholder, holding an approximately 9% stake in the company.

Last week, in an SEC filing, Musk revealed that he had secured commitments for $46.5 billion to help finance the deal.

The Tesla owner secured about $25.5 billion in debt financing through Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and other firms, and said that he had committed about $21 billion in equity financing himself.

Twitter plans to release its first quarter results on April 28

Source: GNA
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