Elon Musk Suggests Buying Twitter at His Original Price – The New York Times

Elon Musk proposed a deal with Twitter on Monday evening that could bring to an end the acrimonious legal fight between the billionaire and the social media company.

The arrangement would allow Mr. Musk to acquire Twitter at $54.20 per share, the price he agreed to pay for the company in April, two people familiar with the proposal who were not authorized to speak publicly said.

The potential deal comes after months of disputes that have created existential challenges for Twitter, cratering its share price, demoralizing its employees and spooking the advertisers it relies on for revenue.

A deal at the original price would be a victory for Twitter, which struck an agreement with Mr. Musk to buy the company for $44 billion. Mr. Musk declared in July that he no longer intended to complete the acquisition because he believed Twitter’s service was overrun by spam.

It was not immediately clear whether Twitter planned to accept his offer, which could be seen as a negotiating tactic by Mr. Musk to halt Twitter’s litigation against him. Shares in the social media company spiked almost 12 percent on the news, before a halt in trading.

While an agreement would signify an end to the uncertainty clouding Twitter’s immediate future, Mr. Musk’s plans for the company are uncertain. Shareholders voted in September to approve the original deal with Mr. Musk, who told investors before attempting to back out of the deal that by 2025, he could get the company to 500 million daily users and revenue of $13.2 billion.

Twitter sued Mr. Musk in July to force the completion of the acquisition, and was set for a showdown with the billionaire this month in a Delaware courtroom. The company argued in legal filings that Mr. Musk’s reasons for abandoning the deal were smoke screens, and suggested that he had simply hoped for a lower price after stock market declines had decreased his overall wealth.

Mr. Musk said Twitter had most likely undercounted the amount of spam on its platform, making the company less valuable than he had initially believed. He also cited whistle-blower claims from a former Twitter executive, who said the company had misled regulators about its security practices, as a reason to exit the deal.

Mr. Musk submitted a proposal to Twitter on Monday evening, a person familiar with the conversation said. The parties met in court on Tuesday to discuss the proposal. The offer was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

A deal could allow both sides to avoid a messy public trial, which most likely would have featured testimony from Mr. Musk and senior Twitter executives. Mr. Musk is scheduled to be deposed on Thursday and Friday in Austin, Texas, according to a legal filing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox