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According to a person familiar with the situation, Elon Musk and Twitter were still discussing a prospective deal as of midday on Wednesday, more than a day and a half after the tycoon proposed to acquire the site for his originally agreed-upon price of $44 billion.
According to the source, there is “nothing imminent” in the legal process, although movement might be made Wednesday afternoon.
Musk’s deposition is still set for Thursday and Friday in Austin, Texas. According to the source, Twitter is considering allowing Musk to postpone his deposition until next week in order to give attorneys more time to work out the details of the arrangement.
Analysts believe Musk’s desire to avoid being deposed was a driving factor in his offer to complete his original proposal to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share in exchange for the site withdrawing its action against him. According to insiders, he made the offer in a letter late Monday night.
According to insiders, Twitter is unwilling to petition a Delaware judge to postpone the trial scheduled for Oct. 17 until it has reached an arrangement with Musk. If Twitter agrees to delay Musk’s deposition and then the arrangement breaks apart, the source said it would still be “logistically” conceivable to depose him next week ahead of the Oct. 17 trial.
Twitter filed a notice of deposition for one of Musk’s deal attorneys, Mike Ringler, late Tuesday, indicating that the business has not completely abandoned the legal battle. The notice would not be unusual in typical litigation, but the fact that it was submitted after Musk proposed to complete the purchase raised suspicions among analysts monitoring the case.
Twitter did not respond. Musk’s counsel did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Elon Musk wants to purchase Twitter for the initial $44 billion price in order to avoid a trial.
Twitter shares were down 2.2% at $50.85 midday Wednesday, showing market doubt that the transaction will close at $54.20 per share.
In recent days, there has also been speculation that Musk’s legal team may have spoken with a whistleblower.
Twitter’s legal team is looking into whether one of Musk’s attorneys talked with Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko before the ex-Twitter executive went public with worries about the site’s privacy and security. Both Musk’s attorneys and Zatko have denied any communication prior to Zatko voicing his concerns in August.
According to Reuters, Twitter discovered an anonymous May 6 email from “a former Exec at Twitter overseeing teams directly addressing Trust & Safety/Content Moderation” to Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro proposing to speak with Spiro “through other ways.”
According to Reuters, the Delaware Court of Chancery judge presiding over the trial, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, believes the sender of the email was Zatko. She allegedly ordered Spiro to produce an affidavit describing how he handled the email by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Musk’s team has reasons to conclude the sale today, according to a person close to the matter, given Musk’s anticipated wish not to testify and the scrutiny of Sprio.
According to Wall Street experts, Twitter should be incentivized to complete the transaction as well. Most experts believe the site’s stock price would be around $20 if Musk hadn’t purchased it at a time when the market was considerably stronger.
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