After months of legal fighting between the richest man in the world and the social media site, Elon Musk twitter, he has finalised his $44 billion plan to take Twitter private, putting an end to one of the most high-profile and dramatic buyout sagas in recent memory.
The billionaire businessman sacked Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal as soon as he assumed control on Thursday night. According to one source, Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel, and Vijaya Gadde, the company’s head of law, policy, and safety, were also fired.
In a tweet, Musk stated that “the bird is free.”
The sale was finalised on Thursday, according to a regulatory filing from the New York Stock Exchange, which also noted that trade in shares had been halted in anticipation of Twitter’s delisting on November 8. Analysts said in notes to clients that, with the platform now private, they would no longer be following it.
The statements bring to an end an acquisition that has been both unexpected and unheard of, and they place Musk, a self-described “free-speech absolutist,” in charge of a platform that is favoured by international politicians and depended upon by millions of users around the world for news.
In an effort to create a “super app” that combines payments, commerce, and messaging, Musk has pledged to slash costs and employee numbers at Twitter while increasing product innovation.
The former US president Donald Trump, who was banned from the platform after the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, may be able to return thanks to his promise to relax content moderation guidelines and reverse permanent bans.
Trump stated on Friday that he was “extremely delighted that Twitter is now in reasonable hands” on Truth Social, the alternative social media site he established after his suspension. He said to Fox News that he was “staying on Truth,” but he did not completely rule out returning on Twitter if given permission.
It’s anticipated that Musk, who is already the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, will lead Twitter until he names new executives. He’s already embraced his new position with his trademark bombast, dropping by Twitter’s San Francisco office on Wednesday to meet with employees while toting a sink, writing, “Let that sink in,” and updating his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit.”
In addition, according to a person acquainted with the matter, he assured some employees that he did not want to eliminate 75% of the employment.
On Thursday, Musk adopted a more sombre demeanour in an effort to reassure advertisers, who account for the majority of Twitter’s $5 billion in annual revenues, that the social media platform would not devolve into “a free-for-all hellscape” and that it “aspired to be the most respected advertising platform in the world.”
After the transaction was completed, Musk wrote on Twitter, “[L]et the good times roll.” Musk tweeted that he would be “digging in more today” in response to a user named Catturd who complained that they had been “shadow banned” on the network, which prevents their material from being seen by others without their consent.
Users of the platform are already divided in their opinions on the merger. Others rejoiced at what they viewed as the end of the restriction of free speech, while some expressed concerns that it might unleash a torrent of negativity and abuse.
Agrawal was set to receive around $60 million as part of a stipulation in the merger agreement, according to some Twitter employees who paid respect to the leaving executives.
Musk had previously agreed to purchase Twitter in April for $54.20 per share. A few months later, he filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco-based corporation to cancel the agreement, claiming that the platform had misled regulators and investors about phoney accounts and cyber security. A contentious legal dispute and discovery process resulted from the social media company’s pushback and countersuit in an effort to pressure the billionaire to complete the acquisition.
Elon Musk declared he was prepared to purchase the business at the agreed-upon price provided the legal action was withdrawn just weeks before the two were scheduled to square off in a Delaware court over the matter. The court ordered the parties to reach a settlement by October 28 or face a November trial as Twitter refused a quick resolution.
The once-coveted deal might become a nightmare as some of the greatest names in leveraged finance could suffer significant losses.
In April, when the debt markets were still largely calm, a group of banks led by Morgan Stanley and including Bank of America and Barclays committed $13 billion in funding for the acquisition.
Normally, those banks would raise money for the acquisition by selling debt, but due to recent market volatility, they have little choice except to fund it themselves and keep the debt on their balance sheets.
Musk has promised to contribute a total of $33 billion in equity. A long list of investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and asset management companies Fidelity, Brookfield, and Sequoia Capital, have reportedly contributed at least $7 billion to his effort, according to him.