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Elon Musk has reportedly offered to proceed with his pending acquisition of Twitter Inc., which the Tesla Inc. chief executive previously sought to scrap.

Bloomberg reported the development today, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.

According to the sources, Musk offered to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share, the price set in his original acquisition proposal. The offer values the social network at $44 billion. Shares of Twitter jumped more than 12% on the news today before trading was temporarily halted.

The Washington Post reported that Musk’s attorneys had notified their counterparts at Twitter overnight about his decision to proceed with the deal. According to CNBC, the acquisition could be finalized as soon as Friday.

Musk acquired 9.2% of Twitter’s shares through a series of stock purchases disclosed in April and, a few weeks later, announced plans to buy the company for $43 billion. Musk shortly thereafter raised the bid to $44 billion in order to address concerns that Twitter’s board had expressed about his original offer. In March, he secured financing commitments worth more than $46 billion to support the acquisition. 

The first indications that the deal may face obstacles emerged in May, when Musk put the acquisition on hold. He later announced his intent to scrap the deal, accusing Twitter of being in “material breach of multiple provisions” of the acquisition agreement. In response, Twitter filed a lawsuit with the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware to enforce the acquisition agreement.

A key focus of the case is the number of bot accounts on Twitter. Musk has stated that he believes bots account for a larger percentage of Twitter’s monetizable daily active users than what the social network’s internal estimates indicate. Twitter, in turn, charged that Musk “refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.”

Bloomberg reported today that Musk’s decision to proceed with the deal came after his legal team sensed the court may not rule in his favor. As part of the litigation, a five-day nonjury trial was set to begin on Oct. 17. Musk was set to be deposed later this week in preparation for the trial.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Musk and Twitter are currently holding discussions about how to close the deal. The judge overseeing the case reportedly asked the two sides to submit a proposal that would allow the upcoming trial to be dropped. It’s believed that Musk and Twitter could submit the proposal by the end of the day.

Photo: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

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