Twitter wants its shareholders to vote on the takeover of the service by Elon Musk in mid-September – although the tech billionaire has declared the deal to be terminated. Twitter scheduled a September 13 shareholders’ meeting followed by a vote, according to SEC filings.
Tesla boss Musk announced in April that he wanted to buy Twitter for around $44 billion. The service initially resisted, but shortly afterwards the board of directors of Twitter concluded a takeover agreement with the tech billionaire. Just a few weeks later, however, he declared the deal on hold. In early July, he finally backed down.
Twitter is seeking a court ruling in the US state of Delaware that will oblige Musk to complete the acquisition at the agreed price of $54.20 per share. That would be an attractive deal for many shareholders: the stock closed at $39.34 on Tuesday. The announcement of the shareholder vote did not move the price at all in pre-market trading on Wednesday.
Musk already holds a good nine percent stake in Twitter, which he bought on the stock exchange before his takeover announcement. A simple majority of the shares is sufficient for control of the short message service, since Twitter, unlike other tech companies, waived special shares with more voting rights for founders and management.
Musk accuses Twitter of misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on the platform. The service breached its contract by not providing sufficient access to check the numbers, his lawyers argue. Twitter countered that Musk’s reference to the fake profiles was just an excuse to get out of the takeover deal after a downturn in the stock markets.
The responsible judge in Delaware scheduled a five-day trial for mid-October. The vote now scheduled could give Twitter an opportunity to appear there with a shareholder vote in the bag.