Elon Musk’s lawyers said Thursday that Twitter is refusing to accept the Tesla billionaire’s renewed $44 billion bid for the social media company and are asking a Delaware court to halt an upcoming trial.
Mr. Musk made a renewed offer to take over the social media platform earlier this week, hoping to end a protracted legal dispute that began when he tried to back out of the April deal and Twitter sued.
Representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to messages for comment.
Twitter said earlier this week that it intends to close the deal at the agreed-upon price, but the two sides are still booked for an October 17 trial in Delaware over Mr. Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal. On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she will continue to press on toward the trial because, at the time, neither side had formally moved to stop it.
Mr. Musk’s attorneys said the trial should be adjourned to leave more time for Mr. Musk to secure the financing.
“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” said the court filing signed by Mr. Musk attorney Edward Micheletti. “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.”
Since Twitter sued Mr. Musk to force him to complete the purchase after he tried to back out four months ago, it is unlikely the San Francisco-based company — whose shareholders have voted to approve the deal — will walk away from the agreement.
Rather, it’s likely Twitter is seeking assurances from Mr. usk’s side that this time he’s serious and won’t walk away again.
Eric Talley, a Columbia University law professor, tweeted Thursday that Twitter “is absolutely right not to take ‘yes’ for an answer, and everyone knows why. (They tried that in April and it didn’t go so well).” He added that Twitter would, however, take a “certified bank transfer” from Mr. Musk.
Mr. Musk attorneys argue that Twitter is disagreeing with the trial delay “based on the theoretical possibility” of him not coming up with the financing, which they call “baseless speculation.”
They said Mr. Musk’s financial backers “have indicated that they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by October 28, roughly a week after the trial was set to conclude.
Twitter’s shares fell $1.91, or 3.7%, to close at $49.39 on Thursday. It was the stock’s second day of declines following a surge of more than 22% on Tuesday after Musk made his renewed offer to buy the company.