Twitter indicated Tuesday afternoon that they are moving forward with letting Elon Musk acquire the company after the billionaire entrepreneur informed the company in a letter that he wanted to proceed with the purchase for the original offer of $54.20 per share.
Musk made the proposal in a letter to Twitter executives, which sent share prices surging by as much as 22%.
“Twitter issued this statement about today’s news: We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC,” the company said in a statement. “The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share.”
The transaction could be completed as soon as the end of this week, CNBC reported.
Twitter had been battling Musk in court over his attempt to cancel a previous offer to buy the company for $44 billion. Musk had expressed concerns that the actual share of fake accounts on the platform could range as high as 33% rather than the company’s reported 5%, with a lower number of monetizable daily active users justifying a lower valuation. A trial to determine the status of the acquisition had been scheduled for October 17.
Musk had originally floated the rate of $54.20 per share earlier this year.
Twitter attorneys had contested Musk’s rationale for passing on the $44 billion deal by producing text messages he sent to Michael Grimes, an executive at investment bank Morgan Stanley, indicating that he was concerned about macroeconomic conditions stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Let’s slow down just a few days. Putin speech tomorrow is extremely important,” Musk said. “It won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War III.”
Kathaleen McCormick, the Delaware judge overseeing the merger, recently granted attorneys representing Musk permission to use the whistleblower account of Peiter Zatko in their arguments. The former cybersecurity czar for the social media company claimed that executives did not have the resources or motivation necessary to determine the true number of fake accounts on the platform.
Zatko also alleged in his whistleblower report that one or more current Twitter employees are working for a foreign intelligence agency. He explained during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that executives were “unwilling to put the effort in” to root out the individual. As Zatko’s testimony was broadcasted live, Musk tweeted an emoji of movie theater popcorn, apparently indicating that he was enjoying the direction of the proceedings.
Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report.
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