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Elon Musk. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Elon Musk. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Billionaire Elon Musk issued a humorous late-night response to Twitter’s preparations to sue and force him to complete a $44bn takeover of the company.

Eschewing any words of his own, the Tesla and SpaceX chief posted a meme late on Sunday featuring images of himself laughing with captions recounting one version of events over the past few months. It conveys a lighthearted attitude from the world’s richest man to what has been a complex and expensive deal that’s weighed on Tesla shares and gone through several iterations of provisional funding.

Musk agreed to take Twitter private at a price of $54.20 per share in late April, after his acquiring a significant stake pushed the stock price up. Twitter shares traded at $36.81 on Friday, a third below the takeover deal’s price. Musk has expressed growing discontent about the deal and argued that Twitter failed to disclose essential information, such as the specific number of fake and automated accounts on the service.

“The Twitter board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” Twitter chair Bret Taylor tweeted on Friday.

Meanwhile, Twitter has hired US law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP as it prepares to sue Musk and force him to complete the acquisition, according to people familiar with the matter.

Twitter is planning to file a lawsuit early this week in Delaware, people familiar with the matter said.

Twitter declined to comment while the law firm did not immediately respond to request for comment outside business hours.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was one of the legal advisers for Musk’s plan to take Tesla private in 2018. Musk tweeted that there was “funding secured” for a $72bn deal to take Tesla private but did not move ahead with an offer.

Musk and Tesla each paid $20m in civil fines, and Musk stepped down as Tesla’s chair to resolve US Securities & Exchange Commission claims that he defrauded investors.

Twitter’s existing legal team includes Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

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