World's richest man Elon Musk has completed a $44B acquisition of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), according to media reports - beating a court-imposed deadline to complete the contentious deal, and ending a back-and-forth 2022 saga during which he signed a go-private deal, then tried to back out of it, inviting a company lawsuit.
The sealed deal averted the resumption of a trial to decide the suit filed by Twitter to force Musk to go forward with the transaction - after he attempted to terminate it, following a sharp decline in the value of Twitter (as well as many other companies).
Thursday evening as the deal closed, CEO Parag Agrwawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal reportedly left HQ for good after being fired. Meanwhile, Twitter's top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, and General Counsel Sean Edgett have also been fired, The New York Times reports - adding at least one of the fired execs was escorted from the office.
Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick had stayed the scheduled trial from an Oct. 17 start date, saying that if Musk didn't close the purchase by 5 p.m. on Oct. 28, a new trial date would be set for November.
As the deadline neared this week, signs kept stacking up that the deal was headed for a successful on-time closing. Musk reportedly sent a borrowing notice Tuesday night to lenders providing $13B in debt financing for the deal, and those banks were in the process of signing documents and moving funds to escrow for transfer Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, Twitter's head of people said Musk would address employees Friday in the first of many meetings, and Musk changed his Twitter profile biography to read "Chief Twit" and posted videos of him entering Twitter headquarters.
All the while, Twitter's stock price (TWTR) inched ever higher toward Musk's $54.20 per share cash offer.
Musk brought in Tesla (TSLA) engineers to meet with product leaders at Twitter headquarters Thursday, Bloomberg reports, to dig into Twitter code and help Musk understand it.
Earlier, amid reports that advertisers were raising concerns about a Musk-led Twitter (over moderation and conflict-of-interest issues), Musk penned an open letter to the group to clarify his motivation.