Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter is far from a done deal, as new legal filings show bickering over essential parts of the $44 billion transaction
- Elon Musk wants his legal battle with Twitter stopped and says the deal can close Oct. 28.
- Musk's attorney said Twitter offered a discount, but he rejected it over added stipulations from the company.
Elon Musk's legal team wants to halt Twitter's lawsuit against the billionaire, saying his renewed $44 billion deal to buy it can to close by October 28. Twitter wants it to happen even faster.
"Twitter will not take yes for an answer. Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders' interests," a Thursday proposal from Musk's lawyers reads. "Proceeding toward trial is not only an enormous waste of party and judicial resources, it will undermine the ability of the parties to close the transaction."
The motion to stay comes only a few days after the billionaire sent a letter to Twitter saying he would purchase the company at his originally offered price of $54.20 per share, under the condition that Twitter agrees to an "immediate" end to the court battle.
A Twitter spokesperson previously told Insider the company has received the letter and intends to close the transaction at the original purchase price. Twitter has yet to accept the offer, however, and a new filing shows why.
The company quickly opposed Musk's attempt to halt the trial, calling it "an invitation to further mischief and delay." It's lawyers held that, should Musk actually want to close this deal as proposed, he can do it much more quickly than his offered timeline of Oct. 28. If not, a trial set to start Oct. 17 should go ahead.
"Twitter is entitled to its day in court, to demonstrate its entitlement to specific performance and prove defendants' breaches so as to ensure complete relief in the event the closing should for any reason not occur," lawyers for Twitter said. "Defendants can and should close next week. Until they do, this action is not moot and should be brought to trial."
Twitter appears to not trust that Musk is certain to go through with his renewed offer.
"Now, on the eve of trial, defendants declare they intend to close after all," Twitter lawyers said. "'Trust us,' they say, 'we mean it this time,' and so they ask to be relieved from a reckoning on the merits."
The company also pointed out that the billionaire has "refused to commit to any closing date" for the transaction. Musk in his motion to stay insisted that all of the banks committed to financing his takeover of Twitter have said they remain so, but that they need until Oct. 28 to finalize funding. Twitter claimed Musk has yet to even share communicate to his lending banks his intention to close to deal, or proposed any kind of timeline to them.
The new spat shows the case remains as tenuous as ever, with both sides refusing to agree on the other's offered terms.
Musk's personal attorney Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said earlier in the day that the Tesla CEO filed the motion to stay because Twitter executives and board members are "acting against the interest of shareholders" by refusing to accept Musk's full-price offer.
"They offered a discount, but they attached all kinds of things so we said no," Spiro told Insider, referencing earlier negotiations on a deal. "Musk is now giving Twitter shareholders the price they want. Twitter wants the carrot and no stick."
Meanwhile, attorneys for Musk argue the deal is being held up by Twitter's "baseless speculation" that the billionaire's debt financing won't come through despite repeated assurances his debt financing parties are "prepared to honor its obligations."
Should the trial go ahead as scheduled, Musk argued it will "interfere with ongoing efforts to consummate the transaction."
Judge Kathleen McCormick, the judge presiding over the case, said in a Wednesday order on scheduling that the case will continue as scheduled as of now.
Musk was set to be deposed starting Thursday. Twitter agreed to delay Musk's deposition as it negotiated his new offer.
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