Elon Musk and Twitter Inc. have agreed to delay the billionaire’s long-awaited testimony in the company’s lawsuit aimed at forcing him into a $44 billion buyout, according to people familiar with the matter.
usk reversed course earlier this week, agreeing to complete the $54.20 per share offer for the social media platform on the original terms. While it could be months before the deal closes, a test set for October 17th will almost certainly be on hold.
Both sides agreed Wednesday to postpone the filing scheduled for Thursday morning in Austin, Texas while attorneys try to complete procedures to dismiss the lawsuit, according to the people, who declined to be identified, citing a confidential matter to discuss.
Meanwhile, banks and other investors are reviewing the original $12.5 billion debt financing package. The lenders are managed by Morgan Stanley. Other investors include Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle Corp.
Before restoring his original offer, Musk’s representatives held talks with Twitter about lowering the deal price, people familiar with the negotiations told Bloomberg News. Musk was targeting a 30 percent price cut and recently explored a 10 percent discount, but discussions have not resulted in an agreement, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified sources.
Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick said Wednesday that she is moving forward with the upcoming trial as neither side has yet asked for the case to be adjourned. In a securities filing earlier this week, Musk offered to go ahead with the deal if Twitter’s lawsuit was shelved.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for after-hours comment regarding the delay in filing.
Musk has omitted other deposition dates in the case. According to court documents, he canceled a Sept. 28 meeting to answer questions about concerns about Covid-19. He also requested that the testimony be conducted in Texas rather than Delaware.
Musk backed down from his proposed Twitter purchase earlier this year, claiming the company hasn’t been matched with him and investors over the number of bot accounts artificially inflating ad revenue. Twitter countered that the concerns were an excuse for Musk as he began to feel the buyer’s remorse.
In the past, Musk — chief executive officer of electric-car maker Tesla Inc. — has become aggressive during pre-trial questioning in other court cases involving his deal-making efforts.
In a statement related to a lawsuit filed by Tesla investors over Musk’s acquisition of utility SolarCity, the billionaire belittled a shareholder advocate who argued the deal was fraught with conflict.
“Saving SolarCity was good for the world, tell us?” asked the investors’ attorney, Randy Baron, in a pretrial inquiry.
“The expansion of solar energy is absolutely good for the world,” Musk shot back. “Do you only think about money? What is your purpose in life?” Musk’s testimony was played in the 2021 SolarCity dispute trial.
During his court cross-examination, Musk told a Delaware judge he disrespected Baron, whom he considered “a bad person” who specialized in asking misleading questions. The judge ultimately ruled in Musk’s favor.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/musk-deposition-delayed-in-twitter-suit-as-buyout-moves-ahead-42044698.html Musk Deposition In Twitter Suit Delayed As Buyout Goes On