Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter for US$44-billion 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.

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

Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at the proposed $54.20/share price. The deal ends Twitter’s run as a public company since its 2013 initial public offering.

“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.

Meanwhile, former US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will not return to Twitter even if his account is reinstated following the platform’s purchase by billionaire Elon Musk.

Trump told Fox News that he will formally join his own Truth Social start-up over the next seven days, as planned.

“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told Fox News. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth,” Trump said.

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