Musk completes takeover of Twitter
The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has completed his $44bn takeover of Twitter, according to US media and an investor in the firm.
A number of top executives, including the boss, Parag Agrawal, have reportedly been fired.
It brings to a close a saga that saw Twitter go to court to hold the billionaire to the terms of a takeover deal that he had tried to escape.
Musk tweeted that his interest in the firm was not about making money.
Twitter has not yet confirmed the takeover, but an early investor in the company told the BBC that the deal had been completed.
“I think the court pushed him over the line,” said Ross Gerber, chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Investments. “Quite frankly, this has sort of been a disaster from the beginning… Starting off very aggressively courting Twitter in a way that really forced Twitter to the table… then getting all upset and having a public spat over what to me was pretty well known issues.”
The company’s chief executive, Agrawal; chief financial officer Ned Segal, and the firm’s top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, are no longer with the company, according to US media reports.
Agrawal and Segal were escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters after the deal closed, the Reuters news agency reported.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone thanked Agrawal, Segal and Gadde for their “collective contribution” to the business.
The social media platform’s shares will be suspended from trading on Friday, according to the New York Stock Exchange’s website.
Musk said he bought the social media platform to help humanity and he wanted “civilization to have a common digital town square”.
Earlier this week Musk tweeted a video of himself walking into Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco carrying a kitchen sink with the caption: “let that sink in!”
He also changed his Twitter profile to read “Chief Twit”.
Many analysts argued the price Musk is now paying for the company is too high given the decline in the values of many tech stocks and Twitter’s struggle to attract users and grow.
On a recent earnings call, the Tesla founder said Twitter was “an asset that has just sort of languished for a long time, but has incredible potential, although obviously myself and the other investors are overpaying for Twitter right now”. (BBC)