(NEW YORK) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk proposed the completion of a deal to acquire Twitter on Tuesday, reversing a monthslong effort to terminate the agreement.
Musk — the richest person in the world, according to Forbes — put forward a proposal to Twitter that would complete the deal at Musk’s original offer price of $54.20 a share at a total cost of roughly $44 billion, a person familiar with the proposal told ABC News.
In a statement, Twitter said it plans to agree to a deal at the price proposed by Musk.
“We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC,” the company said on Tuesday. “The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share.”
Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk in July over his effort to terminate an acquisition agreement. That trial is set to begin in less than two weeks.
Musk reached an acquisition deal with Twitter in April, but over the ensuing weeks, he raised concerns over spam accounts on the platform, claiming Twitter had not provided him with an accurate estimate of their number.
Twitter rebuked that claim, saying it had provided Musk with information in accordance with conditions set out in the acquisition deal.
“This is a clear sign that Musk recognized heading into Delaware Court that the chances of winning vs. the Twitter board was highly unlikely and this $44 billion deal was going to be completed one way or another,” Dan Ives, a managing director of equity research at Wedbush, an investment firm, told ABC News Tuesday in an email.
The move from Musk marks the latest reversal of course in a saga that started in January when the billionaire first invested in Twitter. By March, Musk had become the largest stakeholder in Twitter and the following month the social media company announced that Musk would join its board. Days later, however, Musk said he had decided against joining the board.
In April, Musk offered to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share, valuing the company at about $44 billion. The offer amounted to a 38% premium above where the price stood a day before Musk’s investment in Twitter became public. Roughly 10 days later, Twitter accepted Musk’s offer.
One month later, however, Musk said he had put the deal “temporarily on hold,” citing concern over what he said was the prevalence of bot and spam accounts on the platform. Roughly two hours later, Musk said he was “still committed” to the deal.
Eventually, Musk moved to terminate the deal in July. Soon after, Twitter sued Musk in Chancery Court in Delaware to force him to complete the deal.
A scheduling decision made by the court in July — to hold the trial over five days in October — appeared to align more closely with a timeline requested by Twitter, which had sought a four-day trial in September. Musk asked the court to set a trial date no earlier than mid-February 2023.
Now, according to the deal, the court case is off if the two sides reach a deal.
Twitter stock closed Tuesday at $52.01, up 22% for the day.
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