Elon Musk met a court-appointed deadline by completing his $44 billion purchase of the social media platform Twitter Thursday.
Musk fired Chief Executive Parag Agrawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal after the deal closed, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The Tesla founder also fired Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top legal and policy executive, and general counsel Sean Edgett.
Hours after those actions, Musk tweeted, “the bird is freed” in keeping with Twitter’s blue bird logo. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday confirmed the deal closed Thursday. Twitter is now owned by X Holdings II, a wholly owned subsidiary of X Holdings I. Musk is the sole owner of X Holdings I, according to documents filed with the SEC.
Twitter offered the world’s richest man a seat on the board of directors after he filed a mandatory notice with the SEC when he acquired more than nine percent of the company’s stock. Musk eventually decided not to take the offered seat because it would limit his ability to make a hostile bid to buy the company, which he did.
Initially, Twitter fought the idea of selling to Musk but finally agreed to be bought in a $44 billion deal. The stock market dipped significantly between his offer and the board’s acceptance. Musk announced he was going to walk away from the deal. Twitter stockholders saw visions of a quick payday evaporate and the company sued the billionaire in a Delaware Chancery Court.
Before the case was scheduled to go to trial, Musk changed his mind again and told the court he would complete the purchase. The judge set a deadline for the acquisition to be completed, which expired Friday.
Musk foreshadowed his intention to complete the Twitter purchase by Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline when he tweeted a photo of himself entering the company’s San Francisco, Calif., headquarters carrying a sink.
“Entering Twitter HQ,” Musk captioned above the video he posted to his Twitter account, “Let that sink in.”
The cash deal removed Twitter as a listed stock on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a document filed with the SEC. Twitter will join Tesla and SpaceX as private, Musk-owned companies.
He told advertisers Thursday he bought Twitter to “have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.” Musk added that, while he wants to provide for a wider range of voices and opinions, Twitter will deliver consequences for accounts with extreme messages. In other words, he will free the bird from its cage but keep the windows and door shut so it does not fly too far, too fast.
Musk said the platform must be “warm and welcoming to all,” suggesting Twitter could let people choose desired experiences according to individual preferences, along the lines of how people choose what movies to see or video games to play.
He has said former President Donald Trump would be welcome on Twitter again, under his ownership. Trump said he is “happy that Twitter is now in sane hands,” in a post to his Truth Social account.
CORRECTION: Our previous story on Trump’s response in regard to Musk’s purchase of Twitter was found to be unsupported, and the above is the true version.
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