WASHINGTON: Billionaire Elon Musk has proposed to go ahead with his original offer of $44 billion to take Twitter Inc private, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, signalling an end to a bitter legal battle that was about to go to trial.
The agreement puts the world’s richest person in charge of one of the most influential media platforms and ends months of turbulent litigation that damaged Twitter’s brand and fed Musk’s reputation for erratic behaviour.
Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc, will take over a company he originally committed to buying in April, but soon soured on.
Twitter shares jumped 12.7 percent to $47.93 before trading was halted for the second time, while Tesla shares rose by about one percent.
Bloomberg reported the move earlier, saying Musk made the proposal in a letter to Twitter.
The news comes ahead of a highly anticipated faceoff between Musk and Twitter in a Delaware court on Oct 17, in which the social media company was set to seek an order directing Musk to close the deal at $54.20 per share.
Musk agreed in April to buy Twitter for $44bn, or $54.20 per share, but within weeks said the number of bot accounts was much higher than Twitter’s estimate of less than 5 percent of users. Bots are automated accounts, and their use can lead to overestimations of how many humans are on the service, which is important for advertising rates and the overall value of the service.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022