It's official: Elon Musk is buying Twitter.
The billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO will acquire the social media platform for $54.20 per share in a deal worth about $44 billion, Twitter representatives announced today (April 25).
"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 (opens in new tab).
"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans," he added. "Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech meansApril 25, 2022
Elon Musk is one of Twitter's most influential and popular users, with more than 83 million followers. He frequently uses the site to give updates about his companies and projects, circulate memes and make jokes (opens in new tab).
Some of his posts have gotten him in trouble. In 2018, for example, the SEC sued Musk for fraud over a tweet in which he claimed that he had secured funding to take Tesla, a public company, private at $420 per share. Both Musk and Tesla reportedly paid a $20 million fine to settle the dispute.
His acquisition of Twitter has been brewing for weeks now. On April 4, it was announced that Musk had purchased a 9.2% stake in the company, becoming its single largest shareholder. Ten days later, Musk told us — via Twitter (opens in new tab), of course — that he had made an offer to buy the whole thing, at $54.20 per share.
Twitter took some time to think about it. The company ultimately decided to accept the deal, which is expected to close this year.
"The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and financing," Twitter Independent Board Chair Bret Taylor said in the same statement. "The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."
Musk is far and away the richest person in the world. According to Forbes (opens in new tab), he's currently worth nearly $267 billion. That's about $100 billion more than the second name on the list, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
Mike Wall is the author of "O (opens in new tab)ut There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).