Twitter shareholders approve Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover bid

The Tesla CEO no longer wants to go through with the deal, but Twitter is determined to make it happen.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer
Image: Getty

Twitter shareholders on Tuesday formally approved Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover deal, at a value of $54.20 per share. Based on a preliminary count, approximately 98.6% of the shareholder votes cast were in favor of the deal.

The expected vote comes just about a month before a trial is set to begin to determine whether the acquisition should move forward. Musk has made it clear he's no longer interested in owning the social media platform.

"Twitter stands ready and willing to complete the merger with affiliates of Mr. Musk immediately," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "Twitter continues to believe that Mr. Musk's purported termination of the merger agreement is invalid and without merit, and that the Musk parties continue to be bound by the merger agreement and obligated to complete the merger on the agreed terms and conditions."

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The vote also came on the same day that Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, Twitter's former chief security officer, testified before a US Senate committee about the social media platform's security vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, Zatko filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Twitter's physical and digital security systems for protecting user privacy and moderating content suffered extreme deficiencies.

Twitter has been in a state of turmoil since April, when Musk said he wanted to buy the social media platform. He lined up $46.5 billion in financing to back his unsolicited bid, relying on loans and $33.5 billion from his own equity. As the deal materialized, some of Twitter's top executives were pushed out of the company and others resigned. 

However, the eccentric billionaire businessman quickly began suggesting the deal was "on hold", complaining about the number of fake accounts on the Twitter platform. Then in July, Musk said he was backing out of the deal

Twitter's board quickly responded that it was prepared to take legal action to ensure the deal closes at a price of $54.20 per share. As promised, Twitter filed suit against the Tesla CEO, claiming he cannot back out of his commitment to acquire the company. 

Last week, Musk filed yet another letter with the SEC to argue the deal should be terminated, claiming that Zatko's $7.75 million severance package from Twitter violated the terms of the acquisition deal.

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