Elon Musk gives two signs the deal with Twitter could be drawing to a close.
First, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker that he founded and operates, saying the funds could be used to finance a potential Twitter deal if he loses the long-awaited legal battle with the social-media company.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted.
Additionally, Musk said the original Twitter deal could move ahead if Twitter would confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are “spam bots” or real people.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not,” referring to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In April, Elon Musk announced that he held a 9.2% stake in Twitter, which made him the social-media company’s largest shareholder. Twitter’s stock price soared 25 percent after the announcement.
Later that month, the billionaire entrepreneur offered to buy all of Twitter at $54.20 per share—equaling about $44 billion. He said he originally invested in the platform because he believes it is failing in its potential to be the leading platform for free speech around the globe. In fact, he asked his 2 million followers if Twitter adhered to principles of free speech, and 70 percent said “no.”
Last month, Musk decided to back out of the deal, claiming there were too many fake accounts on the platform. Twitter has since sued Musk in Delaware Court of Chancery to complete the deal and requested the trial to take place in September. Musk, on the other hand, wanted to delay the trial until February 2023, stating that a case of this size takes time to prepare. Twitter was granted its wish of an expedited trial, with Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the presiding judge, setting a five-day trial for October.
Musk then countersued Twitter, stating his reason for the termination was due to Twitter not being upfront about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Following the announcement of the share sale on Tuesday, Musk answered “yes” on Twitter when asked if he was done selling Tesla stock, adding he would buy it again if the Twitter deal does not close.