Updated at 4:00 pm EST
Twitter () has agreed to a $44 billion takeover offer from Elon Musk Monday, which will see the social media group become a private company, ended weeks of speculation when Tesla () discovered the site earlier this month.
Musk will pay $54.20 per share of the company, a price that matches his earlier 'best and final' offer that valued the micro-blogging website at around $44 billion. After a "thoughtful and comprehensive process," the board described it as the "best path forward for Twitter's stockholders," and offered "a substantial cash premium."
Musk first made his offer on Twitter public on April 4, only weeks after declaring that he was giving'serious thought' to starting his own social media business, accusing Twitter of "failing to adhere to free speech fundamentally undermines democracy" given that the site "serves as the de facto public town square."
Days later, Musk changed his SEC filing to a 13-D submission, which stated that he owned a 9.1% share in the organization and intends to seek.
"Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where questions about humanity are debated," Musk said in a statement. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by using new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spam bots, and authenticating all humans."
"Twitter has immense potential, and I am looking forward to working with the company and the community of users to improve it," he said.
Twitter shares fell 5.5 percent higher on Monday, ending a week with $51.70 per month, following a brief suspension from trading on the Nasdaq prior to the announcement of the deal. Tesla shares fell 0.7 percent from $998.02 each.
Musk has provided financing for his 'best and final' Twitter offer, which has been linked to his current 173 million in Tesla shares, of which 88 million are secured against various personal loans. However, Musk is likely to offload billions in Tesla stock in order to make a $21 billion contribution.
A successful Twitter acquisition would put another significant challenge on the market for the billionaire, which includes space exploration firm SpaceX, The Boring Company, and neurotechnology specialists Neuralink Corp.
Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, who has recently taken over from Jack Dorsey, said he is "deeply proud of our employees and inspired by the work that has never been more important," adding that the deal shows that Twitter "has a purpose and relevance that impacts the whole world."
73.7 percent of the 2.5 million people who voted in the poll had chosen "yes" to Musk's edit feature question at their last count.
Non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December were reported to be 33% higher than expected in the same period last year, while 2 cents shy of the Street consensus projection. Group revenues increased by 22% to $1.57 billion, matched Street estimates, with $1.47 billion coming from its advertising division.
Twitter claims it expects revenue growth in the "low to mid 20% range" and maintains its.
On Thursday April 28, Twitter's first quarter earnings will be posted.