Twitter shareholders vote in favor of Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout deal

The vast majority Twitter (TWTR) shareholders voted in favor of Musk’s $44 billion buyout deal on Tuesday, valued at $54.20 per share. The company’s stock opened Tuesday at less than $41 a share, nearly 25% below the deal price.
A preliminary count showed 98.6% of votes cast on Tuesday were in favor of the deal, Twitter said in a statement.

“Twitter is ready and willing to complete the merger with Mr. Musk’s affiliates immediately, and in any event no later than September 15, 2022, the business day following the satisfaction of all conditions, which are the deadlines set forth in the merger agreement.”

The vote comes days after Musk issued his third letter to Twitter seeking to terminate their deal, which was linked to the company’s alleged $7.75 million payment to its former security chief, Peiter Zatko, who later blew the whistle on his alleged security breach. and privacy vulnerabilities.

In the letter, Musk’s lawyers said the payment — which they said was made to Zatko and his lawyers on June 28 as part of a separation agreement — violated a provision of the acquisition agreement. Twitter agreed not to compensate employees “in amounts outside the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice,” according to the contract.

Twitter denounced Musk’s latest effort to pull out of the deal as “invalid and wrong.”

Musk first sent a letter terminating the deal in July, alleging that Twitter violated the agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform. Twitter sued Musk to complete the acquisition, accusing the billionaire of using bots as an excuse to back out of a deal that developed buyer’s remorse after the market slump.

Zatko testified before the US Senate on Tuesday about what he believes are serious security and privacy vulnerabilities at Twitter, including having foreign intelligence agents on its payroll.

The lawsuit between Musk and Twitter is scheduled to go to trial on October 17.

— CNN Business’ Clare Duffy contributed to this report