Elon Musk Might Finalize Twitter Deal This Week
Elon Musk and his army of lawyers are under a lot of stress.
The billionaire has only four days to finish his deal with Twitter. If he doesn’t, he will have to go to court, where experts say he will probably lose.
This month, the Delaware judge in charge of the court case gave the two sides until 5 p.m. ET on October 28 to come to a new agreement. If they don’t, the case will go back to court in November for a five-day trial.
Erik Gordon, a business law professor at the University of Michigan, told Insider that if Elon Musk misses the deadline, Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick isn’t likely to give him more time and would rather start the trial quickly.
Ann Lipton, a business law professor at Tulane University Law School, told Business Insider that “unless there’s really some new, intervening event that was completely out of Elon Musk’s control and stops the deal, he’ll probably have used up the court’s goodwill.”
Anat Alon-Beck, an assistant professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, said that even if Elon Musk can’t buy the company by the deadline, he would probably end up buying it after paying millions more in legal fees.
But experts say it’s likely that Elon Musk will reach a deal before Friday when the deadline ends.
Things Would Get Worse for Elon Musk if he Heads to Court
If the two sides don’t reach a deal by Friday, they could technically keep talking even after the lawsuits start up again and a trial date is set.
But a long court battle probably won’t help Elon Musk at all.
“He knows he can’t get out of it and doesn’t want to be embarrassed in public,” Alon-Beck told Insider.
Gerard Filitti, senior counsel at The Lawfare Project, an international non-profit legal think tank and litigation fund based in New York City, told Insider that if the trial went forward, Elon Musk would have to sit through a long deposition and even more of his private texts could be made public.
Bloomberg said last week that Twitter and Elon Musk are putting together the paperwork to close the deal by Friday. The report was based on information from several people who are familiar with the situation. When Elon Musk first asked the court to end the case and let him buy the company at the original price, Twitter seemed suspicious of the billionaire’s plans. The company has said that the deal won’t go through until Elon Musk can show that he has the money to pay for it.
Elon Musk’s original plan for funding Twitter included $21 billion in cash, $12.5 billion in margin loans backed by his 16% stake in Tesla, and $13 billion in loans from several banks. But Kali Hay of Insider said that at least one investor wanted out of the deal.
Bloomberg said on Thursday that the banks, including Morgan Stanley, are finishing up their funding. Wedbush tech analyst Dan Ives said in a note on Friday that the billionaire still owes another $32 billion, but he is likely to sell between $5 billion and $10 billion worth of Tesla stock to help pay for the deal.
If Elon Musk goes through with the deal this week, the story could still go on even after a deal is made.
Bloomberg said on Thursday that President Joe Biden was considering a security review of the deal, which includes several foreign investors like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, Binance Holdings, and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. On Monday, Karine Jean-Pierre, who works for the White House, said that the stories were “not true.” Gordon said that a security review probably wouldn’t stop the deal altogether, but it could force Elon Musk to pay for even more of it himself.
The deal would set Twitter on a path toward big changes. The Washington Post said last week that Elon Musk wanted to get rid of about 75% of the company’s employees. Time said that Twitter employees started passing around an open letter on Monday to protest the possible layoffs.
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