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Musk’s Twitter deal is ongoing, not ‘on hold’, executives tell staff

Twitter Inc. executives told employees on Thursday that the $44 billion deal to sell the company to billionaire Elon Musk is going according to plan and that they will not renegotiate the agreed price of $54.20 per share. .

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top lawyer and policy officer, also told workers in a show of hands that there was “no such deal pending,” according to people who attended. the meeting. She was pushing back against Musk’s claims over the past week that he was putting the deal on hold while he learns more about the number of bots and spam accounts on the social media service.

Twitter stock jumped about 2% on news of the meeting, which was first reported by Bloomberg. Previously, the shares were down 1.7%.

Other senior Twitter executives, including chief executive Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal, also spoke to employees, said the people, who asked not to be identified to discuss internal business. The company-wide video call was for management to discuss the deal and provide more details after Twitter filed its proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, which described transaction history and terms.

The executives answered a number of questions about the deal, including whether Twitter would try to legally force Musk to buy the company based on his deal. Gadde assured employees that Musk must “do everything he can” to make sure he gets his funding in order, and that it’s possible Twitter could try to “enforce” the terms of the agreement. agreement “if we ever needed to do it in court.” She added that reaching that milestone would be “pretty rare.”

Musk earlier this week suggested he would be interested in renegotiating his Twitter deal. The company’s shares are currently trading at $37.45 per share, well below the offering price.

Thursday’s town hall meeting was the latest in a series of internal meetings designed to help employees better understand the sales process. Segal discussed the discrepancy between Twitter’s share price and Musk’s offer, telling staff how it reflected doubt over whether the deal would close. He also said executives are still engaging with Musk and his team and working with them “regularly” throughout the process to prepare for the possibility of Musk taking over. Segal also explained how Twitter’s board made the decision to sell to Musk, which included an analysis of Twitter’s business projections should a deal not occur.

Gadde added that she thinks Musk will be able to vote for his shares at Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting, scheduled for May 25. The shareholder vote on approving the deal will take place at a later date.

Twitter has been at an impasse since the company’s board accepted an offer from Musk in late April. Musk continued to criticize Twitter and its policies despite agreeing to the deal, and recently suggested the company was lying about how many daily users would be classified as spam. He said the deal was “on hold” until he got more information. After Agrawal posted a lengthy thread earlier this week explaining Twitter’s methodology for counting spam accounts, Musk responded to the CEO with a poop emoji.

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