Twitter board agrees to $44bn takeover by Elon Musk

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Elon Musk

The board of Twitter has agreed to a $44bn (£34.5bn) takeover offer from Elon Musk, the world’s richest man.

Musk had two weeks ago made a bid, expressing his belief that he is the right person to help the microblogging platform unlock its “extraordinary potential”.

The eccentric billionaire has often called for changes to the platform’s policies–changes ranging from relaxing its content restrictions to eradicating fake accounts.

The firm initially rebuffed Musk’s bid, but earlier on Monday, it was reported that the company asked shareholders to vote to approve the deal.

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Forbes magazine lists Elon Musk as the world’s richest man. With an estimated net worth of $274bn, Musk is a majority shareholder and CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla. The Tesla owner also runs the leading aerospace company SpaceX.

“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,” he said in a statement announcing the deal.

“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 spambots, 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.”

Bret Taylor, chair of Twitter’s board, said the board had conducted a “comprehensive process” to assess Mr Musk’s proposals for the firm.

“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders,” he said.