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Update, 11:54 am PDT: Twitter announced in a news bulletin that it “has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.”

Twitter says the transaction “is expected to close in 2022” subject to stockholder and regulatory approval.

Musk added his own statement to the news release, saying “Twitter has tremendous potential—I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.” He promised new features, open sourcing Twitter’s algorithms “to increase trust,” “defeating” spam bots, and, bizarrely, “authenticating all humans.” Whatever the heck that means. 

Original story: Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk recently purchased 9.2% of Twitter stock, shortly after which there was a bit of a will-he won’t-he dance with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. The same CEO who announced Musk was also being added to the company’s board of directors, before u-turning after a week of odd tweets from Musk. After which Musk said, essentially, sod this for a game of toy soldiers: I’m buying the lot.

Musk offered $54.20 a share for Twitter, and said if it wasn’t accepted “I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.” Now Bloomberg is reporting that Twitter is in the final stretch of negotiations about a sale to Musk, per someone with knowledge of the matter. The two sides could apparently “reach an agreement as soon as Monday if negotiations go smoothly”, according to this source.

Musk described his aims in buying Twitter thus in a filing to the US financial regulator: “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.

“However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company […] Twitter has extraordinary potential.  I will unlock it.”

Well, that escalated. As for Musk, he hasn’t said anything about the apparently imminent acquisition on his social feed, preferring to spend the last day trolling Bill Gates. At least we can be sure of one thing: Twitter probably will get that edit button.

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