A judge has set October to start a trial in Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk regarding their $44 billion acquisition deal, reports said.
At the end of the first hearing on Tuesday over whether to expedite the proceedings, the judge overseeing the case Delaware Court of Chancery chancellor Kathaleen McCormick has ruled that there would be a five-day trial in October.
Twitter last week had filed a motion to expedite the proceedings and requested a four-day trial in September. Twitter said the expedition is necessary to ensure the deal can be completed prior to the “drop dead” date of October 24 that the two sides previously agreed to close the deal. The company said it will help protect Twitter and its stockholders from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement.
Musk’s legal team opposed the motion, and proposed that the dispute should go to trial early next year. They asked that a 10-day trial be scheduled for on or after February 13, 2023.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter’s lead counsel William Savitt, who argued in favor of a speedy trial, reportedly said the continued uncertainty hanging over the company from the outstanding deal and litigation inflicts harm on Twitter everyday, and every hour.
Savitt said that Musk has been and remains contractually obligated to use his best efforts to close this deal, but what he’s doing is the exact opposite; it’s sabotage.
Meanwhile, Musk lawyer Andrew Rossman stated that the billionaire remains one of Twitter’s largest shareholders and that he doesn’t have an incentive to keep this hanging for a long time.
While announcing the scheduling plan, McCormick said that Musk’s side underestimates the ability of this court – to quickly process complex litigation. The reality is that delay threatens irreparable harm to Twitter, the longer the delay, the greater the risk, she added.
According to her, few cases warrant a trial longer than five days, and if necessary, she would entertain a request from either side to extend the trial.
It was in late April that Twitter agreed to accept Musk’s offer for $54.20 per share in cash and to become a privately held company. However, in May, Musk put the Twitter acquisition on hold, demanding further information about spam and fake accounts.
Later, Musk’s legal team said it is backing off from the deal as the social media company has not complied with its contractual obligations, and did not provide relevant business information.
Responding to Musk’s notice of planned termination of the merger deal, Twitter Board had insisted that it expects to close the deal on the price and terms agreed upon with Musk. The Board also filed the motion in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
In a 60-plus-page lawsuit, Twitter alleged that it was Musk who has violated the agreement, and asked the court to compel Musk to complete the deal to buy the company.
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