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NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – Elon Musk clinched a deal to purchase Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) for $44 billion money on Monday in a transaction that can shift management of the social media platform populated by hundreds of thousands of customers and world leaders to the world’s richest individual.

It’s a seminal second for the 16-year-old firm that emerged as one of many world’s most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.

Discussions over the deal, which final week appeared unsure, accelerated over the weekend after Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financing particulars of his provide.

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Below strain, Twitter began negotiating with Musk to purchase the corporate on the proposed $54.20 per share worth. learn extra

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital city sq. the place issues very important to the way forward for humanity are debated,” Musk stated in a press release.

Shares have been up about 6% following the information. The deal represents a close to 40% premium to the closing worth the day earlier than Musk disclosed he had purchased a greater than 9% stake. Even so, the provide is under the $70 vary the place Twitter was buying and selling final 12 months.

The transaction was authorized by the board and is now topic to a shareholder vote.

In a ready assertion the corporate stated Musk secured $25.5 billion of debt and margin mortgage financing and is offering a $21 billion fairness dedication.

It was not instantly clear what the breakup price can be or who would run the brand new firm.

Twitter’s outsized significance as a mouthpiece for politicians, political dissidents and activists belies its comparatively small measurement.

Though it is just a couple of tenth of the dimensions of far bigger social media platforms like Meta Platforms Inc’s (FB.O) Fb, it has been credited with serving to spawn the Arab Spring rebellion and accused of enjoying a task within the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.

After Twitter banned former President Donald Trump over considerations round incitement of violence following final 12 months’s U.S. Capitol assault by his supporters, Musk tweeted: “Lots of people are going to be tremendous sad with West Coast excessive tech because the de facto arbiter of free speech.”

Republicans on Monday cheered the information of a potential Musk buyout of Twitter, betting on Trump’s reinstatement on the service. learn extra

Trump, whose firm is constructing a rival to Twitter referred to as Reality Social, stated he won’t return to Twitter, in line with a Fox Information interview.

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Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York, extra reporting by Krystal Hu;
Modifying by Mark Potter, Kenneth Li and Matthew Lewis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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