Twitter’s board of directors on Tuesday unanimously recommended that its shareholders approve the company’s proposed $44 billion sale to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The board unanimously “determined that the merger agreement is advisable and the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement are fair to, advisable and in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders,” according to the filing.
The deal has at times fallen into uncertainty since Musk first offered $54.20 per share to take the company private in April. Shares rose roughly 3 percent to $38.98 before the opening bell Tuesday.
Musk, who is the richest man in the world, said there are still a few “unresolved matters” involving the deal at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday. He has previously expressed concern that Twitter had concealed information about the number of bots on the platform and threatened to pull out of the deal if the company did not provide additional information on the matter.
Musk has said that he wants to make Twitter “better than ever.”
“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 on the deal. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
Musk wrote in a recent SEC filing that he had invested in Twitter because he believes in its “potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential,” he added. “I will unlock it.”
Musk held an all-staff meeting with Twitter employees last week and said he would allow a wide range of views on the platform, including content that could be described as “extreme” but was lawful, Bloomberg reported.
“There’s freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” he said. “I think people should be allowed to say pretty outrageous things that are in the bounds of the law but that don’t get amplified and don’t get a ton of reach.”
Musk also said he would ban remote working for Twitter employees if he assumes control of the company. He recently began enforcing a similar ban at Tesla.
Only “excellent contributors” at Twitter would be allowed to work from home for cause, with exemptions having to receive personal approval from Musk himself.