“The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has completed his $44bn (£38.1bn) takeover of Twitter, according to US media and an investor in the firm.”
This time, it’s legitimate. Elon Musk has completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter after months of legal turmoil, offensive memes, and will-they-won’t-they mayhem to rival your favorite rom-com. In the process of taking Twitter private and removing a number of key executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, Musk finalized the deal on Thursday night.
He tweeted “the bird is freed,” in an apparent reference to the deal closing.
According to reports, several senior employees, including the CEO, Parag Agrawal, have been let go. It ends a drama in which Twitter went to court to force the billionaire to abide by the terms of a takeover agreement that he had attempted to elude.
Despite one early investor in the company telling the BBC that the acquisition had been finalized, Twitter has not yet acknowledged the takeover.
Elon Musk’s Tweet:
“The company’s chief executive, Mr Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and the firm’s top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, are no longer with the company, according to US media reports.”
Musk had changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit” a day before. Musk has threatened to change Twitter’s financial model, take it private, and relax the company’s policies against abuse, harassment, and false claims.
Musk and Twitter had been locked in a months-long legal battle after he got cold feet about going through with the deal. But just days before they were set to go to trial, Musk surprised everyone by saying he’d buy Twitter after all.
Musk and Twitter were embroiled in a protracted legal dispute for months after he second-guessed the deal. But only a few days before their trial was scheduled to begin, Musk shocked everyone by announcing that he would still buy Twitter.
Elon Musk in Twitter Headquarter
Mr. Musk claimed that he purchased the social media network in order to help humanity and to create “civilization to have a common digital town square”.
Let it sink in! was the caption on a video Mr. Musk posted earlier this week of himself entering Twitter’s San Francisco offices while carrying a bathroom sink.
Long road to a deal
Early investments made by Mr. Musk in Twitter at first went unnoticed by the public. He started buying shares on a regular basis in January, and by the middle of March, he had amassed a 5% ownership holding in the company.
He was identified as Twitter’s top stakeholder in April, and by the month’s end, a deal to acquire the business for $44 billion had been made. He declared he will eliminate spam accounts while maintaining the platform’s status as a place for free discourse.
But by mid-May, Mr. Musk, a frequent Twitter user, had started to have second thoughts about the purchase, expressing worries that there were more phony accounts on the site than Twitter had indicated.
He declared he was done with buying the business in July. However, Twitter asserted that the billionaire was legally bound by the transaction and ultimately filed a lawsuit to enforce the agreement.
“In early October, Mr Musk revived his takeover plans for the company on condition that legal proceedings were paused.”
“I think the court pushed him over the line,” Ross Gerber, chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Investments told the BBC.
“Quite frankly, this has sort of been a disaster from the beginning… Starting off very aggressively courting Twitter in a way that really forced Twitter to the table… then getting all upset and having a public spat over what to me were pretty well known issues.”