Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Elon Musk completes Twitter takeover amid hate speech concerns

Elon Musk completes Twitter takeover amid hate speech concerns


Elon Musk completes Twitter takeover amid hate speech concerns

The social media group confirmed the deal in a brief filing on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning, disclosing the deal had closed the day before. Shares in the company have been suspended and will delist on 8 November, capping a chaotic saga that began when the billionaire first announced his plans to take the tech business private in April.

There has been speculation Musk will take on the role of chief executive at Twitter on an interim basis. Shortly after taking the helm, he reportedly ousted several senior figures, including the chief executive, Parag Agrawal; the chief financial officer, Ned Segal; and the head of legal policy, trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde.

Musk, who is worth $212bn, has committed to financing most of the transaction himself, although he has received commitments worth more than $7bn from investors including Larry Ellison, founder of the Oracle software group, and the cryptocurrency platform Binance. The deal will also be backed by a $13bn debt package led by a consortium of Wall Street banks.

Completion of the deal brings to a close a takeover that became mired in corporate and legal drama soon after it was announced in April. Within weeks the deal, which Musk had signed on 25 April, began to founder as its prospective owner raised concerns about the number of vexatious spam accounts on the platform.

This led the Tesla chief executive to announce in July that he was walking away from the transaction.

Twitter then sued Musk in the US state of Delaware, where the company is incorporated, to demand that he close the deal. After a surprise change of mind by Musk as a court date approached, a Delaware judge gave both sides until 5pm on 28 October to close the deal.

Johana Bhuiyan contributed to this report.

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