Elon Musk wants to own Twitter after all. The Tesla CEO has decided he wants to go ahead with the deal he originally struck to buy the social media company for $54.20 a share, Bloomberg reports.
News of the proposal comes less than two weeks before the two sides were set to go to trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery over Musk’s attempt to get out of that deal. He has cited concerns about the number of spam and bot accounts on Twitter, and later added allegations from the company’s former head of security turned whistleblower to his suit.
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But CNBC reported that trading of Twitter's shares was halted following the report.
If the two sides were to agree to go ahead with the terms of the original deal, it would end a months-long legal battle that has grown increasingly messy. Last week, hundreds of Musk’s private messages were published in legal filings. The texts detailed how Musk’s negotiations with Twitter had broken down in the spring, prompting him to announce he would buy the company and take it private.
But not long after he agreed to buy the company, Musk began questioning Twitter’s accounting of how many bots and spam accounts are on the platform. Musk claimed that Twitter had vastly undercounted the number, and in a legal filing accused the company of fraud. Twitter’s lawyers maintained his estimates were inaccurate and his claims about bots were merely a “pretext.” They cited text messages in which Musk, speaking to his banker at Morgan Stanley, said he was worried about Putin’s moves in Ukraine and a potential “World War 3.”
Update 3:18 PM ET: Musk's letter to Twitter's lawyers was published in an SEC filing. In the note, Musk's lawyers say they will go ahead with the original terms of the deal if Delaware Chancery Court will "adjourn the trial and all other proceedings related" to the ongoing lawsuit.
Update 3:38 PM ET: Twitter has confirmed that it received Musk's letter, and now says it intends to close the deal for $54.20 a share.
Twitter issued this statement about today's news: We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC. The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share.
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) October 4, 2022