Shareholder sues Musk for manipulating Twitter stock for personal gains

San Francisco: A Twitter shareholder has sued Elon Musk, alleging that the Tesla CEO actively manipulated the company’s stock for personal gain.

The lawsuit alleged that Musk proceeded to make statements, send tweets, and engage in conduct designed to create doubt about the deal and “drive Twitter’s stock down substantially in order to create leverage that Musk hoped to use to either back out of the purchase or re-negotiate the buyout price”.

The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Twitter shareholders in federal district court in San Francisco, The Verge reported late on Thursday.

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“Musk’s conduct was and continues to be illegal, in violation of the California Corporations Code, and contrary to the contractual terms he agreed to in the deal,” the complaint read.

It focused on Musk’s recent tweet that the $44 billion Twitter deal “cannot move forward” without more information about fake accounts and bots on the platform.

The complaint asked for injunctive relief by the court, which could potentially force Musk to purchase Twitter at the agreed-upon price, the report said.

In a fresh filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Musk has announced the expiration of a series of margin loans against Tesla stock.

He has now committed to provide an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing for his $44 billion Twitter takeover, bringing his total equity commitment to $33.5 billion.

Musk’s original plan was to acquire Twitter with a combination of $21 billion in personal equity and $25.5 billion in loans and $12.5 billion of those loans were secured against Tesla shares owned by Musk.

According to the new SEC filing, “(Elon Musk has) committed to increase the aggregate principal amount of the equity commitment there to $33.5 billion”.

However, it is not clear where the additional $6.25 billion will come from.

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