NEW YORK – A judge has delayed an impending lawsuit between Twitter and Elon Musk, giving Musk more time to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company after months of fighting his way out.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, chief of the Delaware chancery court, said Thursday that Musk has until Oct. 28 to complete the deal. A trial scheduled for October 17 will take place in November if he does not, she said.
Musk renewed his bid to take over the social media platform earlier this week, hoping to end a protracted legal dispute that began when Musk tried to walk out of the April deal and Twitter continued.
Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to messages for comment.
Twitter said earlier this week it intended to complete the deal at the agreed price, but both sides are still booked for a trial on October 17 in Delaware following Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal. . On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she would continue to move towards trial because, at the time, neither side had formally decided to stop her.
Musk’s attorneys have said the trial should be adjourned to give Musk more time to secure the funding.
FILE – In this photo illustration, an image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the twitter logo on a mobile phone. (Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
“Twitter won’t take yes for an answer,” said the court filing signed by Musk’s attorney, Edward Micheletti. “Amazingly, they insisted on pursuing this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and playing with the interests of their shareholders.”
Since Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the purchase after he tried to pull out four months ago, the San Francisco-based company – whose shareholders voted to approve the deal – is unlikely to withdraw from the agreement.
On the contrary, it is likely that Twitter will ask alongside Musk for assurances that this time he is serious and will not go back.
Eric Talley, a law professor at Columbia University, tweeted Thursday that Twitter “is totally 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, accept a “certified wire transfer” from Musk.
Musk’s attorneys say Twitter disagrees with the postponement of the trial “based on the theoretical possibility” that Musk is not offering the funding, which they call “baseless speculation.”
They said Musk’s backers “have indicated they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by Oct. 28, about a week after the trial ends.
Shares of Twitter fell $1.91, or 3.7%, to close at $49.39 on Thursday. It was the second day of decline for the stock after rising more than 22% on Tuesday after Musk renewed his bid to buy the company.