The judge in charge of litigation between Elon Musk and Twitter gave Thursday, October 6, until October 28 to the parties for the boss of Tesla to buy the social network. Otherwise, the trial originally scheduled for October 17 will take place in November.
A few hours earlier, the multi-billionaire’s lawyers had requested the suspension of the proceedings initiated to force their client to honor his commitment made in the spring to acquire the platform for 44 billion dollars. They said they expect the deal to go through “around October 28”.
Elon Musk had forced the hand of the Californian group’s board of directors to buy it back in April, before unilaterally reconsidering the agreement a few weeks later. On Monday, in a further about-face, he finally offered to complete the transaction at the price initially agreed, as long as he obtained the necessary funds, and that Twitter put an end to its lawsuits.
But after months of public attacks and changes of heart from the whimsical entrepreneur, the company wanted hard and fast proof of his seriousness. Twitter’s lawyers had therefore opposed earlier Thursday the adjournment of the trial requested by the opposing party, calling this possibility “an invitation to more cunning and delay”.
Judge Kathaleen McCormick finally ruled: “The procedure is suspended until October 28, 2022 at 5 p.m., to allow the parties to conclude the transaction. If it is not concluded [à cette date et à cet horaire], the parties will have to contact me by email to obtain dates for a trial in November. »
Since the beginning of the week, negotiations between the two parties had resumed, but they are stumbling over the condition of financing. In their motion, Elon Musk’s lawyers lament that Twitter “insists on continuing the procedure, endangering the transaction and playing with the interests of the shareholders”.
“Twitter refuses to end lawsuit due to theoretical possibility of future failure to complete funding”, they note. But “this failure has not occurred at this stage”they point out. ” On the contrary “the creditors indicated “be prepared to honor their obligations”say the lawyers. “Twitter’s groundless speculation has been refuted by the banks themselves. »
They believe that their client “agreed to do” what the company demanded. “And yet, Twitter refuses to accept this positive response. Incredibly, [la société] insists on continuing the procedure”they protest.
But the bluebird group argued they had no reason to trust the richest man in the world. ” At many times “the Musk clan “did not comply with its obligation to use its best endeavors to complete the transaction”Twitter’s lawyers responded.
” For months, [la partie adverse] advanced increasingly implausible charges to delay the trial (…)accusations that appeared to be unfounded” during the preliminary hearings, they assured. “Now, on the eve of the trial, they say they want to conclude. (…) ‘Trust us’ they say, ‘we’re serious this time'”mocked the social network.
Elon Musk’s lawyers have argued that “continue the procedure [n’était] not only a huge waste of the resources of the parties and the court, it [allait] undermine the ability of the parties to complete the transaction”.
“At this stage, there are two possibilities”they say. “The most likely is that the debt will be financed (…) and shareholders get their money much faster than if Twitter won the lawsuit, and won the appeal (…) a process that could take months”. The second outcome would be a funding failure, in which case “Twitter would have new elements to bring to its complaint”argues the Musk clan.