Twitter demanded its “day in court” after Elon Musk asked a judge to stop an upcoming lawsuit over his $44 billion deal to buy the company.
In another day of drama for the Twitter Takeover bid, Musk’s lawyers have revealed that a last-ditch bid by Tesla’s chief executive this week to acquire Twitter after all — and avoid legal action — fell through.
After spending months in a high-stakes court battle to back out of his April deal to buy the social media company, Musk reversed course on Monday and offered to complete the deal at the original price of 54.20. $ per share.
However, in a deposit at Delaware court that will hold the trial, Musk’s attorneys said, “Twitter won’t take a yes for an answer.”
“Amazingly, they insisted on pursuing this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and playing with the interests of their shareholders.”
In response, Twitter said Musk’s surprise offer to complete the deal included unacceptable clauses and was an “invitation for further mischief and delay.”
“Until the defendants agree to shut down as required, Twitter is entitled to its day in court,” the company’s legal representatives said. Referring to Musk’s earlier drop out of the deal, the Twitter filing said Musk was saying “‘Trust us…’we mean it this time'”.
The five-day trial over the deal is set to begin in Delaware, where Twitter is incorporated, on October 17.
In a filing with the Delaware Chancery court, Musk’s representatives had argued that the deal could be reached on or around October 28 without a trial. The alternative, he added, is a deal-making process that could take months — even if the lawsuit continues and Twitter wins.
Representatives for Musk argued in the filing that they had done “exactly” what Twitter had requested by offering to complete the deal on agreed terms.
He added, “Going to trial is not only a huge waste of party and judicial system resources, it will undermine the parties’ ability to close the deal.
The filing claimed that Twitter was refusing to accept a break in the Oct. 17 lawsuit based on a “theoretical failure” to secure the $12.5 billion in debt financing for the deal.
He said the lenders were “ready to honor” their obligations and accused Twitter of “baseless speculation” about the financial package. However, the document refers to the “much less likely possibility” of the debt going unfunded.
In its response, Twitter said it wasn’t refusing to take yes for an answer. He said the obstacle to postponing the trial was that Musk still refused to accept his “contractual obligations”. Twitter said as part of its renewed offer, the Tesla CEO was asking to reserve the right to resurrect a lawsuit against the company if the shutdown doesn’t happen.
The company added that one of the banks in the consortium lending Musk $12.5 billion said it had not yet been told by him that he intended to complete the deal.
Boston College Law School professor Brian Quinn said: “I think that speaks volumes about the lack of trust between the parties at this point. Clearly, Twitter doesn’t think Musk will follow and wants to keep the pressure on.
Twitter is determined to leave Musk no leeway, said Howard Fischer, a partner at New York law firm Moses & Singer.
“Twitter, quite reasonably, is concerned that if the trial is postponed and the closing is set for a later date, Musk will pull the rug out from under them and continue to buy time.”
Shares on Twitter closed down 3.8% at $49.39.