Donald Trump will have to wait to find his Twitter account, which Elon Musk wanted to restore: the boss of Tesla and SpaceX announced on Friday July 8, in a document sent to the American stock market authorities, that he refused to buy the network social Twitter for 44 billion dollars (43.2 billion euros), accusing the company of having provided data “false and misleading” on the number of fake or dormant accounts.
It is therefore a legal battle that begins, insofar as the board of directors of the social network intends to force the sale. “Twitter’s board has agreed to complete the transaction at the price and terms agreed to with Mr. Musk and plans to take legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident that we will prevail in the Delaware court,” the state where the trial would take place, immediately retaliated Bret Taylor, chairman of the council of the group. Friday, after the closing of the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter action was down sharply, by 5%, around 35 dollars, well below the price of 54.20 dollars offered by Elon Musk in April.
It is not certain that Elon Musk, 51, will achieve his ends, according to the analysis of American lawyers quoted by the press. The richest man in the world, whose fortune is estimated at 230 billion dollars per Forbes, must pay a forfeiture of 1 billion dollars if it fails to raise the necessary financing. But this sum is not a safe-conduct to avoid the sale. For this, substantial events would have to affect the company, which is not proven.
The courts could thus force the sale. In their letter to the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), the stock market regulator, Mr. Musk’s lawyers advance a whole series of arguments to justify this thesis, in particular “diminishing business and financial outlook”. They denounce the bad will of the company: “Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has dismissed them for reasons that seem unwarranted, and sometimes it has pretended to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information. »
Elon Musk’s willingness to withdraw is not a surprise. As early as May 13, he announced that his acquisition was on hold, due to lack of information on the famous suspicious accounts, which Mr. Musk estimates can reach 20% of the total. The acquisition, made in the name of defending free speech, had a side of costly caprice on the part of Mr. Musk, who has been speaking on Twitter with complete freedom for years.
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