Twitter sues Elon Musk to hold him to $44 billion deal

WILMINGTON, Del., July 12 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) sued Elon Musk on Tuesday for violating his $44 billion deal to invest in the social media system and requested a Delaware court to buy the world’s richest man or woman to full the merger at the agreed $54.20 for every Twitter share.

“Musk seemingly thinks that he – compared with just about every other celebration issue to Delaware agreement legislation – is totally free to modify his mind, trash the firm, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder worth, and stroll away,” claimed the complaint.

The lawsuit sets in movement what guarantees to be one particular of the most significant legal showdowns in Wall Street historical past, involving just one of the business enterprise world’s most colorful business owners in a situation that will flip on staid contract language.

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On Friday, Musk said he was terminating the offer simply because Twitter violated the agreement by failing to respond to requests for data pertaining to pretend or spam accounts on the system, which is fundamental to its company performance. go through a lot more

Musk, who is the main govt officer of electric motor vehicle maker Tesla Inc , did not instantly reply to a request for comment.

The lawsuit accused Musk of “a extensive listing” of violations of the merger agreement that “have cast a pall in excess of Twitter and its organization.” It claimed for the initial time that personnel attrition has been “on the upswing” due to the fact the deal was introduced.

Twitter also accused Musk of “secretly” accumulating shares in the enterprise among January and March without properly disclosing his significant purchases to regulators, and mentioned he “as a substitute kept amassing Twitter stock with the marketplace none the wiser.”

Shares of the social media platform shut at $34.06 on Tuesday, up 4.3%, but sharply beneath the levels previously mentioned $50 in which it traded when the deal was approved by Twitter’s board in late April. The stock included a further 1% soon after the bell.

Musk explained he was terminating the merger because of the absence of information and facts about spam accounts and inaccurate representations that he stated amounted to a “content adverse party.” He also mentioned government departures amounted to a failure to conduct enterprise in the standard system – while Twitter claimed it taken out that language from the merger agreement through negotiations.

Twitter also claimed it did not share a lot more facts with Musk regarding spam accounts mainly because it feared he would develop a competing platform immediately after abandoning the acquisition.

Twitter called the factors cited by Musk a “pretext” that lacked benefit and explained his decision to stroll absent had a lot more to do with a drop in the inventory market, especially for tech stocks.

Tesla’s inventory, the key source of Musk’s fortune, has dropped all-around 30% of its price since the deal was introduced and closed on Tuesday at $699.21.

In a different submitting, Twitter questioned the courtroom to plan a four-day trial in mid-September.

In a memo to Twitter team on Tuesday, Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal sought to reassure staff about the upcoming.

“We will prove our situation in courtroom and we imagine we will prevail,” he wrote in the notice, which was viewed by Reuters.

Authorized industry experts have explained that from the details that is community Twitter would appear to have the higher hand. go through more

“In its complaint Twitter is taking a sturdy placement that Musk had a scenario of buyer’s remorse – and that, and not bots, is the reason for his determination to wander absent from the deal,” said Brian Quinn, a professor at Boston College Regulation Faculty. “The info Twitter presents right here make an particularly robust argument in favor of Twitter acquiring this offer closed.”

Musk is among Twitter’s most-adopted accounts and the lawsuit incorporated photographs of several of his tweets, which includes a poop emoji, that the organization claimed violated the merger’s “non-disparagement” clause.

Musk tweeted the emoji on Could 16 in response to a pair of tweets by Agrawal, explaining the company’s efforts to battle spam accounts.

It also involved an graphic of a text concept Musk despatched Agrawal soon after Twitter sought on June 28 reassurances about Musk’s funding for the deal.

“Your legal professionals are working with these discussions to lead to issues,” Musk texted to Agrawal. “That requirements to end.”

Twitter famous that right after Musk stated he was terminating the offer, he sent tweets on Monday that Twitter stated advised his requests about spam were element of a program to power spam information into the public sphere.

“For Musk, it would look, Twitter, the passions of its stockholders, the transaction Musk agreed to, and the courtroom course of action to implement it all represent an elaborate joke,” the lawsuit reported.

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Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware Enhancing by Chris Reese, Noeleen Walder and Matthew Lewis

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