Twitter, Elon Musk Talks Continue, Focus on Financing, Litigation

representative of Twitter inc

TWTR -3.72%

and Elon Musk continued on Thursday to work out an agreement that would allow the billionaire to buy the social media company, with the parties rushing to strike a deal by Monday, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Musk effectively started negotiations earlier this week with his surprise proposal to close the deal at the original price after months of trying to get out of it.

The negotiations, which follow earlier efforts to negotiate a lower price, are focused on ensuring Mr Musk’s debt financing remains in place and on terms to continue litigation over the deal until it is finalized, according to The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Mr Musk is now demanding that the deal be made conditional on him receiving the necessary debt financing.

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Lawyers are trying to reach a settlement that would put a trial scheduled for Oct. 17 on hold for the next few days, the person said. That would avert a statement from Mr Musk, which after being postponed is now scheduled for Monday.

The idea is to put the litigation on hold until the deal is finalized, at which point it would be dropped. This can take days or a few weeks.

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Meanwhile, in a filing filed Thursday, Mr Musk’s team asked the court to stay the lawsuit. The filing says the financing banks are working to fund the deal so it can close, which is expected to happen on or around October 28. His team argues that continuing the legal battle, as Twitter prefers, could keep this deal in limbo longer.

The two sides remain in active dialogue and things could change quickly, the person warned.

Mr. Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April for $54.20 a share, or $44 billion. He later moved to get out of the deal, alleging, among other things, that Twitter misrepresented the number of bots on its platform. Twitter sued him over the summer and he has sued against it.

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Renewed uncertainty over the deal has weighed on Twitter stock, which closed Thursday up 3.7% at $49.39. They had surged above $52 earlier in the week after Mr. Musk signaled his willingness to go through with the deal after all.

write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected]

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