NEW YORK (AP) — Elon Musk’s lawyers said Thursday that Twitter is refusing to accept the Tesla billionaire’s renewed $44 billion offer for the social media company and is asking a Delaware court to suspend an upcoming judgment.
Musk made a renewed offer to take over the social media platform earlier this week, hoping to end a protracted legal dispute that began when Musk tried to back out of the April deal and Twitter sued him.
Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to messages for comment.
Twitter said earlier this week that it intends to close the deal at the agreed price, but the two sides are still booked for an October 17 trial in Delaware over Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal. On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she will go ahead with the trial because, at the time, neither side had formally moved to stop it.
Musk’s lawyers said the trial should be postponed to allow more time for Musk to secure funding.
“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” says the court filing signed by Musk’s attorney, Edward Micheletti. “Surprisingly, they have insisted on continuing this litigation, recklessly risking the deal and playing into the interests of their shareholders.”
Given that Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the purchase after he tried to walk out four months ago, the San Francisco-based company, whose shareholders voted to approve the deal, is unlikely to walk away from the deal.
Rather, Twitter is likely seeking reassurance from Musk that he is serious this time and will not walk away again.
Eric Talley, a Columbia University law professor, tweeted Thursday that Twitter “is absolutely right not to take ‘yes’ for an answer, and everyone knows why. (They tried it in April and it didn’t go so well.)” However, he added that Twitter would accept a “certified bank transfer” from Musk.
Musk’s lawyers argue that Twitter disagrees with delaying the trial “based on the theoretical possibility” that Musk won’t get the funding, which they call “baseless speculation.”
They said Musk’s financial backers “have indicated they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by Oct. 28, about a week after the trial concluded.
Twitter shares fell $1.91, or 3.7%, to close at $49.39 on Thursday. It was the second day of declines for the stock after rising more than 22% on Tuesday after Musk made his new offer to buy the company.