Billionaire Elon Musk has reportedly completed a $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter
The Washington Post, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported on Thursday evening that Musk’s takeover had begun. He also fired key executives such as Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal policy, trust, and safety, The Post reported. CNBC and Insider also reported that Musk is now in charge of Twitter.
Twitter, Agrawal, Segal and Gadde didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk appeared to herald his new ownership situation late Thursday with a characteristically brief tweet saying, “the bird is freed.”
By closing the deal, Musk avoided what could have been a messy public trial between him and Twitter. The social media company and Musk were initially scheduled to go head to head in a five-day trial on Oct. 17. A Delaware judge delayed the trial and gave Twitter and Musk until Friday to close the deal.
Twitter sued Musk in July after the Tesla and SpaceX leader said he wanted to back away from purchasing the company for $54.20 per share. Musk alleged that Twitter misrepresented information about the number of fake and spam accounts on its platform. Twitter, on the other hand, accused Musk of trying to end the deal because his personal wealth had fallen and the acquisition became more expensive for him.
Musk’s plan to acquire Twitter and take the publicly-traded company private has been filled with a lot of chaotic twists. In an unexpected move, Musk’s lawyers told Twitter on Oct. 3 that he intended to buy the company at the original offer price and end the legal battle.