held unsuccessful talks about a possible price cut to his $44 billion deal to buy the social-media platform before he reversed course Monday and said he would return to the original agreement’s terms, according to people familiar with the matter.
The informal discussions happened in a series of conference calls in recent weeks between lawyers and ended after the two sides failed to agree on terms of a potential deal, the people said.
Mr. Musk’s proposal this week to move forward with the April 25 takeover agreement still left unresolved issues. As of late Wednesday, representatives of Mr. Musk and Twitter were trying to hash out the details of his proposal this week to stick to the original agreement, including what would be required from both sides for litigation over the stalled deal to be dropped and whether the deal’s closing would be contingent on Mr. Musk receiving the necessary debt financing, some of the people said.
There was hope a deal could be reached Tuesday or Wednesday, averting a trial scheduled to start Oct. 17, the people said. In a sign of potential progress, the two sides have agreed to delay Mr. Musk’s deposition, which was scheduled to begin Thursday in Texas, some of the people said.
The price-cut talks had broken off before Mr. Musk caught Twitter off-guard by sending the company’s lawyers a two-sentence letter detailing his intentions.
Mr. Musk’s apparent change of heart Monday surprised many observers. The
chief executive had spent the past several months trying to back out of the deal after alleging Twitter misled him about key elements of its business, including the amount of spam on its platform.
In July, Mr. Musk formally moved to walk away from the deal, prompting Twitter to sue him to follow through with the transaction on the agreed terms.
Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Alexa Corse at [email protected]
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