NEW YORK – Twitter is asking a Delaware court to proceed with an upcoming trial against Elon Musk, claiming the billionaire is refusing to accept “contractual obligations” from his April deal to buy the social media company for $44 billion. dollars.
Lawyers for Twitter sent a letter to the Chief Judge of the Delaware Chancery Court on Thursday, shortly after Musk’s legal team asked him to dismiss the lawsuit while he works on a new bid. purchase of the company.
Twitter took issue with Musk’s claim that the San Francisco-based company was refusing to accept the new offer, which Musk spoke to the company about earlier this week after trying to terminate the deal over the summer.
The company sought a court order to force completion of the merger and said it intended to close the deal at the agreed price, but described Musk’s decision to delay the lawsuit as “an invitation to further misdeeds and delays”.
Twitter said Musk should aim to complete the deal by Monday, ahead of a trial that is expected to begin a week later on Oct. 17.
“But they are not. Instead, they are refusing to commit to a closing date,” the letter from Twitter attorney Kevin Shannon said. “They’re asking for an open end, at the expense of Twitter shareholders (who are owed $44 billion plus interest), while remaining free to change their minds again or invent new motives to avoid the contract.”
Andrew Jennings, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, said Twitter wanted to be sure the deal would go through and not give Musk “wiggle room to walk away again.”
Twitter apparently doesn’t have the certainty it wants.
“Otherwise, we would have seen a joint filing in court of how both parties want to proceed,” Jennings said. “At the moment, the test train continues to roll until both parties or the court apply the brakes.”
Musk’s attorneys said earlier Thursday that the trial should be adjourned to allow Musk more time to secure the funding.
“Twitter won’t take yes for an answer,” said the court filing signed by Musk’s attorney, Edward Micheletti. “Amazingly, they insisted on pursuing this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and playing with the interests of their shareholders.”
Eric Talley, a law professor at Columbia University, tweeted Thursday that Twitter “is absolutely right not to take ‘yes’ for an answer, and everyone knows why. (They tried this in April and it doesn’t didn’t go so well.) He added that Twitter would, however, take a “certified wire transfer” from Musk.
Musk’s lawyers say Twitter disagrees with delaying the lawsuit “based on the theoretical possibility” that Musk might not offer the funding, which they call “baseless speculation.”
They said Musk’s backers “have indicated they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by Oct. 28, about a week after the trial ends.
Shares of Twitter fell $1.91, or 3.7%, to close at $49.39 on Thursday. It was the second day of decline for the stock after rising more than 22% on Tuesday after Musk renewed his bid to buy the company.