A Delaware judge on Thursday delayed an upcoming trial between Twitter and Elon Musk, giving the billionaire more time to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, head of the Delaware Chancery Court, extended Musk’s deadline to close the deal to Oct. 28. If he does not, the original trial that was set for Oct. 17 will proceed in November, according to The Associated Press.
Twitter attorneys sent a letter on Thursday to the judge, according to The Associated Press. The request came shortly after Musk’s attorneys asked her to postpone the trial.
Musk said he wanted to return to his original agreement to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, and asked the social media company to end all litigation so he could close the deal, CNBC reported. Twitter refused, the news outlet reported.
“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” court documents state. “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.” Musk argued that the trial would distract his team from securing the financing necessary to close the deal.
Twitter responded by saying Musk and his attorneys were being “disingenuous.”
″'Trust us,’ they say, ‘We mean it this time,’ and so they ask to be relieved from a reckoning on the merits,” Twitter argued, CNBC reported, citing court documents. “To justify that relief, they propose an order that allows them an indefinite time to close on the basis of a conditional withdrawal of their unlawful notices of termination coupled with an explicit reservation of all ‘claims and defenses in the event a closing does not occur.’”
Thursday’s ruling comes months after Musk put a hold on the sale, citing concerns over the number of spam-bot accounts on the site. In a Twitter post in May, Musk speculated that spam or fake accounts on Twitter could be much higher than the less than 5% claimed by the company.
He announced his intent to walk away from the deal in July, prompting the company to sue to force him to adhere to the merger agreement.
Musk argued in July that he could halt his deal with Twitter because the company misled him about the number of real users on the platform and the security of its user data, Reuters reported. However, legal experts told the AP that Musk would be challenged to convince the court’s lead judge that there had been a change in facts since April that was big enough to justify nixing the deal.
“This is a clear sign that Musk recognized heading into Delaware Court that the chances of winning vs. Twitter board was highly unlikely and this $44 billion deal was going to be completed one way or another,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note to investors, Tuesday, according to Reuters and the AP.
Twitter said Musk should be aiming to close the deal by Monday, ahead of a trial set to begin on Oct. 17, the AP reported.
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