Elon Musk taking Twitter private in Sh5 trillion deal

Elon Musk's Twitter account is seen through the Twitter logo in this illustration taken, April 25, 2022. [Reuters]

Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter for Sh5 trillion ($44 billion) cash on Monday in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world's richest person.

It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company that emerged as one of the world's most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.

Discussions over the deal, which last week appeared uncertain, accelerated over the weekend after Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financing details of his offer.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with game designer Todd Howard in California, June 13, 2019. [Reuters]

Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at the proposed $54.20 per share price.

"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.

Twitter's shares were up about 6% following the news.