Musk Backs Out of Twitter Deal

July 8, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
Musk Backs Out of Twitter Deal
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, participates in a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center on May 27, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk is officially pulling out of his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, according to a letter his lawyer sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. 

According to his letter, Musk is backing out because Twitter did not provide accurate user data.

“Twitter has not provided information that Mr. Musk has requested for nearly two months notwithstanding his repeated, detailed clarifications intended to simplify Twitter’s identification, collection, and disclosure of the most relevant information sought in Mr. Musk’s original requests,” his lawyer wrote. “While Twitter has provided some information, that information has come with strings attached, use limitations or other artificial formatting features, which has rendered some of the information minimally useful to Mr. Musk and his advisors.”

Musk started his quest to buy Twitter this spring, buying up a large share of the company’s stock. He announced owning a 9% stake in the company through SEC filings in April.

Twitter’s board enacted a “poison pill” defense to thwart a hostile takeover from Musk, but he then came to an agreement to buy the company and take it private. 

The chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, tweeted Friday that the board is “committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.”

Twitter could have pushed for a $1 billion breakup fee Musk agreed to pay under these circumstances. Instead, it looks ready to fight over the deal, which the company’s board has approved and CEO Parag Agrawal has insisted he wants to consummate.

Madeline can be reached at [email protected] and @MadelineHughes

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