Musk and Twitter could reach agreement as early as Wednesday to end court battle, people familiar with the matter said

WILMINGTON, Delaware, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Elon Musk and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) may reach a deal on Wednesday to end their lawsuit as soon as possible and pay $44 billion for the world’s richest man The dollar deal clears the way. Sources familiar with the lawsuit told Reuters the social media platform.

Musk, who is also chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA.O), proposed to Twitter late Monday that if Twitter dropped the lawsuit, he would reverse course and comply with a $54.20-a-share deal he agreed in April to buy the company. company agreement. against him.

Musk’s proposal on Monday included a condition that completion of the deal is subject to receipt of the necessary debt financing. A potential deal could remove that condition, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.

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Twitter’s legal team and Musk’s lawyers briefed the judge on Tuesday about their attempts to overcome mutual mistrust and find a process to close the deal.

Musk is scheduled to be fired in Austin, Texas, on Thursday.

Musk withdrew a testimony in late September, citing concerns that a Twitter lawyer could be exposed to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19, according to a court filing made public on Wednesday.

Shares of Twitter were down 0.7% at $51.63 Wednesday afternoon. The stock hit its highest level on Tuesday since Musk and Twitter agreed in April to buy the company for $54.20 a share.

Musk said in July that he would walk away from the acquisition agreement after he found that Twitter allegedly misled him about the number of fake accounts, among other things.

Part of Musk’s case is based on allegations made by Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, which became public in August.

Twitter’s legal team has been trying to investigate whether Alex Spiro, the attorney for Quinn Emanuel, who had spearheaded for Musk, communicated with the whistleblower as early as May. The law firm said in court filings that its attorneys did not communicate with Zatko or his representatives.

Spiro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Court documents show that Twitter discovered an anonymous email sent to Spiro on May 6 of “leadership team of former Twitter executives directly involved in trust and safety/content moderation.” The sender offered to communicate “by other means”.

Zatko, who was Twitter’s head of security until he was fired in January, said under oath that he had not communicated with Musk or Musk’s lawyers at Quinn Emanuel.

Judge Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Chancery Court said in a ruling Monday that Zatko’s anonymous email was “at least reasonable.” She ordered Spiro to file a statement with the court by 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday explaining his actions in response to the May 6 email.

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Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Anilban Sen in New York Editing by Nick Ziminsky and Matthew Lewis

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tom Hals

Thomson Reuters

Award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of international journalism experience, focusing on high-stakes legal battles on everything from government policy to corporate transactions.

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