Elon Musk’s on-again off-again plan to buy Twitter is on track to culminate in the billionaire taking control of the company this week.
Musk is expected to close the deal by Friday, October 28, putting him officially in charge of one of the most prominent social networks in the world. Musk reportedly informed bankers of his plans to adhere to an October 28 deadline in a call on Monday.
A collection of banks including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America is footing his purchase with $13 billion in debt, which they plan to hold onto, at least in the short term. Twitter’s stock traded around $53 on Wednesday, barely shy of the $54.20 a share Musk offered for the company earlier this year.
Musk’s agreement with the banks helping him finance the deal isn’t the only thing holding him to a deadline. The more pressing matter here is that the Delaware Chancery Court judge overseeing the litigation between Musk and Twitter set a deadline for this Friday if Musk intends to avoid his day in court. Failing to seal the deal by the date would mean that Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick could initiate a November trial.
Twitter sued the erratic SpaceX and Tesla CEO over the summer to force him to buy the company. The two sides traded arguments and documents in court filings in the subsequent months, while Musk doubled down on his insistence that he had the right to walk away from the deal. Musk’s legal team grasped at straws, including making some misleading and generally confusing claims about Twitter’s user number measurements, muddying the waters further. In the mean time, the legal fight surfaced a trove of private messages between Musk, his financial advisers and other close contacts he talked to about the deal.
In early October Musk did another 180, agreeing to buy the company — if he could kill the trial scheduled for October 17. After another round of back-and-forth court filings and furious letter writing, Judge McCormick agreed to hold off on the trial if Musk gathered his financing and finished the acquisition by October 28.
Musk also signaled his plans to finish the deal this week, changing his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit” and his location to Twitter HQ.