You can almost hear the exasperated sigh at Twitter when you look at the havoc Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and possibly Twitter’s future owner, has wrought on both the social network and on the business over the last few days. Despite the drama, Twitter still wants to move forward with the $44 billion sale to Musk and seems to be prepared to force him to honor the merger agreement.
CNN Business published a new look into Twitter’s line of thinking on Wednesday morning following yet another round of Musk mayhem. Twitter’s board issued a statement emphasizing the terms of the merger agreement, seemingly as much for Musk as for the public.
“The Board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement,” the board said.
As noted by CNN Business, the words “enforce the agreement” seem to imply that Twitter is ready to sue Musk to compel him to follow through on the sale. If Musk decides to walk away from the agreement, he would have to pay a $1 billion breakup fee. He is worth some $219 billion.
Gizmodo reached out to Twitter on Wednesday morning to confirm the board’s statement but had not heard back by the time of publication.
Earlier on Tuesday, the billionaire tweeted that his deal to acquire Twitter could not “move forward” until the social media platform proved that spam bots and fake accounts made up less than 5% of its users.
Twitter responded to Musk’s recent antics in a proxy filing it submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission the same day. In the document, the company continued to recommend that its shareholders vote in favor of the merger and said it was determined to complete the deal “as promptly as practicable.”
The statement adds new friction to Twitter’s battle with Musk, a man who once coveted the social media network but now responds to its CEO with the poop emoji. It’s honestly not clear whether Musk wants to buy Twitter at all anymore. Some analysts believe that Musk is just using the spam bot excuse to try to get out of the deal altogether or push down the price.
Twitter’s stock has tumbled since Musk began to express skepticism on the deal and on the social media company itself. On Sunday, he said that users were “being manipulated by [Twitter’s] algorithm” in ways they didn’t realize in a tweet to his more than 93 million followers.