Elon Musk agrees to buy Twitter for $44bn

Billionaire says he will make social media platform a bastion of free speech

Elon Musk, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83 million followers, began amassing a stake of about 9 per cent in January. Picture: David McNew/Getty

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion, using one of the biggest leveraged buyout deals in history to take private a 16-year-old social networking platform that has become a hub of public discourse and a flashpoint in the debate over online free speech.

Investors will receive $54.20 for each Twitter share they own, the company said in a statement. The price is 38 per cent more than the stock’s close on ...