By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – Multibillionaire Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter (TWTR.N) for $44 billion on Monday in a move that conservatives and Christian influencers hope will bring back freedom of speech to the platform.
The transaction will shift control of the social media network populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person.
Discussions over the deal — which last week appeared uncertain — accelerated over the weekend after Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financial details of his offer.
Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at the proposed $US54.20 ($75.60) per share.
Musk earlier said he is putting up $21 billion of his own money as part of the package to restore Twitter to its former glory.
On top of that equity, Musk reportedly raised a further $12.5 billion for the deal via a loan secured against his shares in Tesla, the electric carmaker that he runs as CEO. Morgan Stanley, the U.S. investment bank, is leading a group of financial institutions providing $13 billion in debt financing.
The deal ends Twitter’s run as a public company since its 2013 initial public offering with Musk, the CEO.
Twitter is still at the center of culture-war debates and remains a pulpit from which to troll public discourse, even after the ban of former President Donald J. Trump, in 2021. Musk suggested that Trump and others banned from Twitter may now be able to return to the platform.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement on Monday.
Twitter’s shares were up about 6 percent following the news.
Musk has previously made clear that his acquisition quest is less about increasing the company’s profits—than preserving Twitter’s capacity to continue influencing vast audiences without interference. “I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” Musk told a TED conference in Vancouver on April 14.
“Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” he added.
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