Elon Musk closes deal to acquire Twitter, fires top executives: Source

The Tesla CEO tweeted: "The bird is freed."

October 28, 2022, 4:29 PM

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has closed a deal to acquire Twitter, ending a monthslong saga that cast Musk as suitor, critic, legal adversary and ultimately owner of the social media platform.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed the deal closure to ABC News on Friday morning. Some of Twitter's top executives were fired, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sam Edgett, and the company will likely be launching an internal investigation, according to the source.

On Friday, Segal recounted his tenure at the company and vowed to remain active as a user of the platform.

"The last 5 years have been the most fulfilling of my career," Segal said. "The people, the potential, and the importance of Twitter. The shifts in technology, politics, culture. This will be hard to beat."

Elon Musk's Twitter profile is seen on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos in this picture illustration taken April 28, 2022.
Dado Ruvic/Reuters, FILE

Former President Donald Trump applauded Musk's takeover of Twitter. Musk has said in the past he would rescind the ban on the former president, but Trump did not say Friday whether he would return to the platform.

"I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands," Trump said in a post on Truth Social, a platform launched by Trump. "Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly."

Trump told Fox News in April, when news of Musk's bid to buy Twitter emerged, that he would not return to the platform if his ban was lifted and was committed to growing Truth Social.

Musk said on Friday that he will forgo any significant content moderation or account reinstatement decisions until after the formation of a new committee devoted to the issues.

"Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints," Musk tweeted. "No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes."

The New York Stock Exchange confirmed on Friday morning that Twitter shares are now suspended for trading, which means the social media platform is headed for delisting and is no longer a public company.

On Thursday night, Musk tweeted: "The bird is freed."

The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were among the first outlets to report the purchase had gone through on Thursday evening, also citing sources familiar with the matter.

Musk -- the richest person in the world, according to Forbes -- reportedly acquired Twitter at his original offer price of $54.20 a share at a total cost of roughly $44 billion.

On Wednesday, Musk posted a video of himself walking into Twitter's offices with a sink, with the tagline: "Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!"

After initially reaching an acquisition deal with Twitter in April, Musk moved to terminate the agreement in July, citing concerns over spam accounts on the platform.

Soon after, Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk over his effort to nix the deal. The judge in the trial, set to take place in Delaware Chancery Court, gave Musk a deadline of Friday to reach a deal or proceed with the trial.

The deal completes a courtship that started in January when the billionaire first invested in Twitter.

By March, Musk had become the largest stakeholder in Twitter with the social media company announcing in April that Musk would join its board. Days later, however, Musk said he had decided against joining the board.

In April, Musk offered to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share, valuing the company at about $44 billion. The offer amounted to a 38% premium above where the price stood a day before Musk's investment in Twitter became public. Roughly 10 days later, Twitter accepted Musk's offer.

One month later, however, Musk said he had put the deal "temporarily on hold," citing concern over what he said was the prevalence of bot and spam accounts on the platform. Roughly two hours later, Musk said he was "still committed" to the deal.

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, June 13, 2019.
Mike Blake/Reuters, FILE

Twitter said it had provided Musk with information in accordance with conditions set out in the acquisition deal.

Eventually, Musk moved to terminate the deal in July. Soon after, Twitter sued Musk in Chancery Court in Delaware to force him to complete the deal.

A scheduling decision made by the court in July -- to hold the trial over five days in October -- appeared to align more closely with a timeline requested by Twitter, which had sought a four-day trial in September. Musk asked the court to set a trial date no earlier than mid-February 2023.

Now, the court case is off and the deal is done.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove a reference to a person whose identity could not be confirmed.

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