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Twitter shares rise after reports Elon Musk is again proposing to buy the company at full price





New York
CNN

Twitter shares were halted twice, the second time on pending news, and rose about 13% in midday trading on Tuesday after reports that Elon Musk has proposed moving forward with a deal to buy the company at the originally agreed price of $54.20 per share.

Bloomberg and the Washington Post reported Tuesday that Musk had sent a letter to Twitter ( TWTR ) proposing to complete the deal as originally signed, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

Representatives for Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news comes as the two sides have been preparing for trial in two weeks over Musk’s attempt to back out of the $44 billion acquisition deal, which Twitter had sued him to complete. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was set to be deposed by Musk’s lawyers on Monday, and Twitter’s lawyers had planned to depose Musk starting Thursday.

It also follows the release on Friday of a number of Musk’s personal text messages about the deal. The messages offered a look at the cast of Silicon Valley insiders and billionaires — from Larry Ellison to members of the Murdoch family — who contacted him to review and, in some cases, offer financing for the deal.

Such a deal could end a contentious, months-long back-and-forth between Musk and Twitter that has created massive uncertainty for employees, investors and users of one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.

Twitter’s board is likely to agree to suspend the lawsuit to move forward with closing the deal, according to Josh White, assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University.

“The very public saga has certainly taken a toll on them and the Twitter staff,” White said. “It is best for all parties to finalize the agreement and make a quick and seamless transition. I suspect it will close quickly.”

The saga began in April when Musk revealed that he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder. Over the next few months, Musk accepted and then withdrew from an offer to serve on Twitter’s board, threatened a hostile takeover of the company, signed an agreement to buy the company, began raising concerns about bots on the platform, attempted to end the deal, was sued by Twitter to follow through on the deal and added claims from a Twitter whistleblower to his argument.

Musk initially moved to terminate the deal citing allegations that the company misreported the number of spam and fake bot accounts on the platform. Twitter claimed that Musk had breached the deal and used bots as a pretext to end a deal he had suffered buyer’s remorse after the broader market decline, which also hurt Tesla stock and, by extension, Musk’s personal fortune.

Throughout the back and forth, Twitter had maintained that it planned to follow through on the deal at the price and terms originally agreed upon.

Many legal experts have said that Twitter has the stronger case going to court, and that Musk will face a significant burden in trying to prove that the company had made material misrepresentations in its securities filings or in its settlement agreement.

The lawsuit was the last remaining hurdle to closing the deal, after Twitter shareholders last month voted to approve the deal. The deal was originally set to end this month.

With news that the deal could be off, attention may once again shift to what Musk’s control could mean for the social media platform.

Musk has previously proposed a number of potential changes to Twitter, the most important of which could be returning former President Donald Trump to the platform and abolishing permanent account bans. Musk has also said he wants to make Twitter more open to “free speech” and may change its content moderation guidelines.

Twitter employees have also raised questions about what a Musk takeover could mean for benefits like telecommuting and parental leave.



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