Elon Musk says Twitter won’t take yes for answer, as judge rules he must complete acquisition by 28 October to avoid a trial
In a court filing Elon Musk has complained that Twitter won’t take yes for an answer and is refusing to end its legal action against him.
Twitter however is not accepting the renewed $44 billion acquisition offer from Elon Musk will actually materialise, and has opposed Musk’s attempt to put the legal fight on hold.
Some may feel Twitter has good reason to be sceptical about Musk’s motives considering his erratic behaviour previously.
After all, when he first acquired a stake in Twitter in April this year, Musk denied he was intending an acquisition or takeover.
Musk then accepted an offer of a seat on Twitter’s board of directors, but just days before joining the board he suddenly declined.
Musk then made his takeover offer for Twitter. Then for the next few months Musk made a number of allegations about the numbers of bot or spam accounts on the platform, before announcing in July he was terminating the deal he had signed, prompting Twitter to sue him.
After failing to delay the trial, and faced with the prospect of a defeat on the 17 October Delaware court trial, plus the prospect of having to pay a $1 billion penalty at the every least, Musk this week performed a speculator u-turn and said he was now willing to complete the acquisition.
Won’t take yes for answer
But Twitter remains unconvinced at this latest Musk move, which some felt was just another delaying tactic from Musk, who had asked the social media company to end all litigation in order to close the deal.
Twitter’s board therefore refused Elon Musk’s attempt to put the legal showdown on hold.
In a filing with Delaware’s Court of Chancery on Thursday, Musk’s legal team said Twitter should drop the court date scheduled for 17 October, so that the necessary financing can be pulled together to wrap up the acquisition by 28 October.
“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” the filing is quoted as saying by CNBC. “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.”
Musk argued that the trial would distract his team from securing the financing necessary to close the deal.
Twitter is not prepared to play ball however, and its lawyers alleged that earlier in the day that an unnamed corporate representative of one of the leading banks involved in the deal “testified that Mr. Musk has yet to send them a borrowing notice and has not otherwise communicated to them that he intends to close the transaction, let alone on any particular timeline.”
The issue of funding his takeover deal remains in question, considering that Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are among the banks that originally agreed to provide $12.5 billion in debt for Musk.
Since then the markets have fallen, and are especially bad for risky tech assets, CNBC reported.
Twitter responded in its own filing on Thursday by saying that Musk and his legal team are being disingenuous.
Only days before a trial was to commence, Musk’s team suddenly declares “they intend to close after all,” the lawyers wrote.
“’Trust us,’ they say, ‘we mean it this time,’ and so they ask to be relieved from a reckoning on the merits,” Twitter’s lawyers reportedly said. “To justify that relief, they propose an order that allows them an indefinite time to close on the basis of a conditional withdrawal of their unlawful notices of termination coupled with an explicit reservation of all ‘claims and defenses in the event a closing does not occur.’“
The Twitter lawyers added that Musk’s “proposal is an invitation to further mischief and delay.”
Twitter said in the legal filing that the Musk parties “should be arranging to close on Monday, October 10,” but is instead refusing to “commit to any closing date.”
However the Delaware Chancery Court judge has decided to grant Musk a slight delay to closing, after ruling Thursday that Elon Musk has until 28 October to close his acquisition of Twitter if he wants to avoid a trial.