BY Fast Company < 1 MINUTE READ

Twitter has reached a deal to allow itself to be acquired by Elon Musk for $54.20 a share, or approximately $44 billion, in an all-cash transaction, the company said Monday. The stunning announcement follows weeks of back-and-forth drama between the social media giant and the Tesla CEO.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Shares of Twitter were up at least 6% Monday as news of negotiations between Twitter and Musk trickled out. The agreement means that current shareholders will receive a per-share price that is 38% higher than Twitter’s share price before Musk announced a stake in the company on the first day of this month, the company said.

“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s independent board chair, said in a statement. “The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

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Fast Company