Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion

Elon Musk in recent memory signed a $44 billion deal to take Twitter private, following a months-long legal battle between the world’s richest man and the social media platform. It put an end to one of the most high-profile and dramatic acquisition stories.

He fired Twitter’s chief executive when the billionaire entrepreneur took over Thursday night. Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal. Twitter’s head of legal, policy and safety Vijaya Gadde and general counsel girlfriend Sean Edgett have also been fired, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“[T]His bird has been released.” Musk Tweeted.

A regulatory filing filed with the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning confirmed that the transaction had closed the day before, and said the stock was halted from trading ahead of Twitter’s Nov. 8 delisting. Stated.

The announcement concludes an unpredictable and unprecedented takeover, making Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” a favorite among global politicians and millions of people around the world. Put your users at the helm of the platform they rely on. for news.

Musk promised to cut headcount and costs at Twitter while fostering product innovation to build a “super app” that incorporates payments, commerce and messaging.

He will also revoke a permanent ban that could pave the way for former President Donald Trump, who was fired following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, to return to the platform. Vowed to loosen content moderation rules.

Already CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk is expected to serve as CEO of Twitter until he elects new leadership. and visited Twitter’s San Francisco office on Wednesday. meet the staff While carrying a sink, he tweeted, “Let’s sink it,” and changed his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit.”

He denied earlier reports, telling some employees that he would not cut 75% of his workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter.

On Thursday, in a more serious tone, Musk asked reassure advertisers — making up the bulk of the platform’s $5 billion in annual revenue — Twitter didn’t want to be “a hell for everyone,” but “aspired to be the most respected advertising platform in the world.”

Line chart of stocks ($) showing bird release: Twitter volatility during Musk acquisition

Musk originally agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in April. Months later, he sued the San Francisco-based company and backed out of the deal, alleging the platform misled investors and regulators about fake accounts and cybersecurity. It retaliated and counterclaimed in an attempt to force the millionaire to terminate the acquisition, sparking a bitter legal battle and discovery process.

Just weeks before the two faced off in Delaware court, Musk announced that he was willing to buy the company at the price they originally agreed to if the lawsuit was dropped.Twitter has resisted an immediate resolution. , the court ordered the parties to find a way to conclude a contract by October 28 or face a trial in November.

CNBC was the first to report news of Agrawal and Segal’s departure. Twitter declined to comment on signing or exiting the deal. A Musk rep didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This deal, once coveted by bankers, may turn into a nightmare Some of the big names in the leveraged finance industry are facing steep losses.

A banking group that includes Morgan Stanley-led Bank of America and Barclays pledged $13 billion in funding for the deal in April, when bond markets were still relatively stable.

These banks typically sell debt to fund transactions, but market volatility leaves them with little choice but to raise the money themselves and keep it on their balance sheets.

Musk has pledged to raise a total of $33 billion in equity. It said it had raised at least $7 billion for its bid from a roster of investors including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency platform Binance, wealth management group Fidelity, Brookfield and Sequoia Capital.

https://www.ft.com/content/b429b624-bf82-4ccd-bf69-b75055403952 Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion

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