Elon Musk hits back at Twitter over $44 billion deal in new shareholder lawsuit | Twitter

Elon Musk has hit back at Twitter, stepping up his legal fight against the social media company over its attempt to walk away from the $44 billion purchase.

Musk’s lawsuit was filed on Friday, hours after Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Chancery Court ordered a five-day trial beginning Oct. 17 to determine whether Musk can walk away from the deal.

The contractor’s 164-page document was not publicly available, but under court rules a redacted version may soon be released.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also on Friday, Musk was sued by a Twitter shareholder who asked the court to order the billionaire to close the deal, find he breached his fiduciary duty to Twitter shareholders, and award damages. -interest for the losses caused.

The lawsuit, which seeks class status, alleges Musk owes a fiduciary duty to Twitter shareholders because of his 9.6% stake in the company and because the takeover agreement gives him a right to veto over many company decisions. The lawsuit was filed by Luigi Crispo, who owns 5,500 Twitter shares, in the Chancery Court.

Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of Tesla, said on July 8 he was backing down from the takeover and accused Twitter of violating the deal by misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on its platform. .

Twitter sued a few days later, calling the fake account a distraction and saying Musk was bound by the merger contract to close the deal at $54.20 per share. Shares of the company closed Friday at $41.61, the highest close since Musk scrapped the deal.

McCormick rushed the case to trial last week, saying she wanted to limit potential harm to Twitter from the uncertainty of the deal.

Twitter blamed the court battle for falling revenue and chaos within the company.

The two sides had basically agreed to a trial on October 17, but disagreed on the limits of discovery or access to internal documents and other evidence.

Musk accused Twitter this week of dragging its feet on its discovery requests, and Twitter accused it of seeking massive amounts of data unrelated to the main issue of the case: whether Musk breached sale.

The Chief Justice in her order on Friday appeared to anticipate the discovery disputes to come. “This order does not resolve any specific discovery disputes, including ownership of any large dataset requests,” McCormick said.

Musk also faces a week-long trial in Wilmington, Delaware, starting Oct. 24. A Tesla shareholder is seeking to reverse as waste and unfair enrichment the electric vehicle maker’s CEO’s record $56 billion pay package.

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