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Court delays Elon Musk Twitter trial to allow Tesla CEO more time to buy company

A Delaware court has delayed Elon Musk’s Twitter trial to allow the Tesla CEO more time to complete his $44bn purchase of the social media platform.

The world’s richest person now has until 5pm ET on 28 October to close the $44bn deal for the San Francisco-based company that he renewed earlier this week.

The move came hours after Mr Musk’s lawyers claimed that Twitter has refused the billionaire’s renewed $44bn bid for the company and have asked a court to halt their upcoming trial.

The Tesla CEO informed the social media platform earlier this week that he would go through with his purchase of the company, with Twitter saying that they also intended to close it.

Now Twitter has reportedly refused to accept the deal, which Mr Musk had been trying to back out of for months, with their lawsuit against him set to be heard in a Delaware courtroom on 17 October.

The company may be “seeking assurances” that the world’s richest person will not walk away from the deal again, according to the Associated Press.

Twitter then filed its own court document denying that the company was unwilling to accept the deal, and instead said that the issue was “that Defendants still refuse to accept their contractual obligations.”

“For months, Defendants have pursued increasingly implausible claims and over and over sought to delay trial on the merits to enforce the Merger Agreement,” the Twitter lawyers stated, according to CNBC.

The Independent has reached out to Twitter for comment.

Mr Musk’s lawyers on Thursday asked the court to adjourn the trial so he can secure the financing he needs to finalise the purchase.

“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” said the court filing signed by Mr Musk’s lawyer Edward Micheletti.

“Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.”

Earlier, it was reported that the South African-born entrepreneur had tried to negotiate a 30 per cent discount on the deal, according to The New York Times.

Twitter rejected the proposal the sources told the newspaper, but discussions had focussed on a discount of around 10 per cent that would have seen Mr Musk pay $39.6bn.

Mr Musk agreed to buy the company for $54.20 a share in April, but by July had indicated that he had changed his mind, citing the spam issues.

Twitter then sued him to force the deal to go through.

In his letter to Twitter on Monday, Mr Musk agreed to pay the full price but said that was contingent on securing the necessary funding to pay it.

If he cannot secure that from banks he faces paying the company a reported $1bn break-up fee.

“The intention of the company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share,” Twitter said in a statement after receiving the letter.

Mr Musk and Twitter have reportedly been in talks since then to complete the deal, but a judge in their lawsuit has said neither party has requested the case be halted and it is still set to go ahead.