Elon Musk is willing to buy Twitter for the originally agreed upon $44 billion after trying to back out. Twitter says it plans to close the deal at that price.
- Elon Musk told Twitter he is willing to pay $54.20 per share, a source confirmed with Insider.
- The billionaire attempted to back out of the deal in July and was set to face Twitter in court October 17.
Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter at its original price after spending months attempting to abandon the deal, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Insider on Tuesday.
News of the proposal — which has not yet been accepted by Twitter — was first reported by Bloomberg. Musk made the offer in a letter to the social media company filed confidentially with the Delaware Court of Chancery, where Twitter sued Musk in July. A person familiar with the issue confirmed the basic contents of the letter with Insider and said the company's lawyers are reviewing it.
"We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC," a Twitter spokesperson told Insider. "The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share."
The proposal, a notable reversal for the Tesla CEO, comes after Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was deposed on Monday by lawyers for Musk. Last week, Twitter whistleblower Peiter "Mudge" Zatko was also deposed by lawyers on both sides of the case.
They were arguably two of the biggest depositions in the case and neither turned up information seen as helpful to Musk's central claims, according to a person familiar with the case. Musk has argued Twitter executives knew the company had a much more serious problem with "bot" or inauthentic accounts and intentionally hid the information from the public.
Musk was scheduled to be deposed next week over the course of two days by lawyers for Twitter. With a potential settlement in the works, the Tesla billionaire may no longer have to be questioned for the case. The court battle is scheduled to come to a head during a five-day trial kicking off in two weeks, with lists of witnesses who would be called expected to be filed tomorrow with the court.
Shares of Twitter rose nearly 13% on Tuesday, nearing yearly highs achieved shortly after Musk agreed to acquire the company.
A sharp twist in an already winding road
Musk offered to buy the social media company for $44 billion in April, after accumulating a more than 9% stake in the company and a short lived attempt to join its board of directors.
By May, he was asking his banker at Morgan Stanley to "slow down" the deal, his private text messages showed, and shortly after he began taking issue with bots on the platform and demanding massive amounts of data from Twitter for analysis. When he sent in early July a letter to Twitter purportedly terminating his agreement, he cited a lack of information on bots amounting to fraud.
As Insider previously reported, Musk was likely to look to settle the case ahead of the trial, given the problems with his arguments and claims against Twitter, several legal experts said. If he goes to trial, the almost certain outcome would be that he would be forced to acquire Twitter for the $44 billion price he agreed to, experts told Insider.
"To me, all of Musk's claims are weak, and many are extremely weak," said Robert Miller, a law professor with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions and related laws in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Dan Ives, a tech analyst for Wedbush, said in a note that Musk's renewed offer to buy Twitter is a sign the billionaire has recognized his chances of winning in court are "highly unlikely."
"This is a smart move for Musk to go ahead with the deal given the legal hurdles that were ahead into Delaware," he said.
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