Elon Musk looks set to purchase Twitter and take it private, months after trying to back out of the deal. Mr Musk revived his original offer of $44bn (£38bn) to purchase the company, which the tech platform has accepted.
The billionaire made the offer of $54.20 a share in a letter to Twitter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
Twitter confirmed that it had received Mr Musk’s renewed offer.
Wall Street appeared thrilled with the development, with the news triggering such a swift increase in Twitter’s stock price that the New York Stock Exchange had to pause trading twice.
The revived buyout bid could end contentious litigation between Twitter and Mr Musk.
In July, the social network sued the billionaire to force the deal through, arguing Mr Musk had violated the terms of their contract when he announced he would not buy the company after all.
A trial was set in the Delaware Court of Chancery for 17 October, and depositions of figures in the case like Mr Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal were scheduled for this week. The fate of the litigation is now unclear.
An agreement would put the world’s richest person in charge of one of the most influential media platforms and end months of turbulent litigation that damaged Twitter’s brand and fed Musk’s reputation for erratic behaviour.
Mr Musk, the network’s largest shareholder, had originally planned to join Twitter’s board, but disagreements between him and Twitter chief Agrawal scuppered the move.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder, was enthusiastic about Mr Musk’s involvement, telling him that, although the board was “terrible”, Mr Agrawal was an “incredible engineer”, texts between the two, revealed via court documents, stated.
On 14 April, Twitter revealed in a securities filing that Mr Musk had offered to buy the company outright for about $44bn. After first trying to thwart the hostile takeover, Twitter ended up agreeing to the deal on 25 April.
In May, Mr Musk announced that his proposed takeover of the social media platform was “on hold” as he looked for more information about spam, bots and fake accounts on the platform.
Mr Agrawal published a long thread in which he said he would take on the issue “with the benefit of data, facts and context”, explaining how Twitter worked out the number of bots within its monetisable daily active users.
Observers said it’s likely Twitter will eventually accept Mr Musk’s new terms if it becomes clear the offer is a genuine one.
“The very public saga has certainly taken a toll on them and Twitter employees,” Josh White, assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University, told CNN. “It is best for all parties to finish the deal and make a quick and seamless transition. I suspect it will close quickly.”