Elon Musk plans to skip deposition in Twitter-buyout lawsuit: Sources

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Elon Musk won’t be showing up Thursday for a long-awaited deposition in Twitter Inc.’s lawsuit aimed at forcing him to go through with a $44 billion buyout of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The billionaire reversed course earlier this week and committed himself to consummating the $54.20-per-share offer for the popular social-media platform on its original terms.

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Even though the deal still may take months to close, a trial set for October 17 is almost certain to be put on hold.

That means there’s no pressure for Musk to submit for pre-trial questioning about his complaints that Twitter executives hid the number of robot and spam accounts among the platform’s more than 230 million users. The deposition was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at a law firm’s offices in Austin, Texas.

The people declined to be identified discussing a confidential matter.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the deposition has been delayed, citing unidentified sources.

The New York Times reported, also citing unidentified sources, that Musk’s representatives had unsuccessful talks with Twitter in recent weeks about reducing the price of the deal before he renewed his original proposal.

Musk sought a discount of as much as 30 percent, which would have valued the company at roughly $31 billion, but Twitter rebuffed the proposal, the newspaper said.

Discussions in the last week concerning a discount of about 10 percent ultimately did not move forward, the Times reported.

Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick said Wednesday that since neither side has yet asked to pause the case, she’s pressing ahead with the upcoming trial.

In a securities filing earlier this week, Musk offered to go forward with the deal if Twitter’s suit was put on hold.

Lawyers for both sides are still hammering out details on a final resolution of the suit as banks and other investors dust off the deal’s original $12.5 billion debt-financing package. The lenders are led by Morgan Stanley. Other investors include Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday on Musk’s decision to skip the deposition.

The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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