The plaintiffs accuse the boss of Tesla of having delayed the moment when he revealed that he had taken a stake in Twitter, a legal obligation beyond certain thresholds.
Twitter shareholders have filed a complaint against Elon Musk, whom they accuse of manipulating the market to save money in his takeover of the social network.
According to documents submitted to a California court on Wednesday, the plaintiffs accuse the boss of Tesla of having delayed the moment when he revealed that he had taken a stake in Twitter, a legal obligation beyond certain thresholds. The multi-billionaire thus saved some $156 million, they estimate, because if he had informed the market in time, he would have paid more for some of the shares.
“By delaying the publication of the amount of his Twitter stake, Musk manipulated the market and bought shares at an artificially low price“, assure the lawyers of the investors, led by William Heresniak. Since the beginning of April, the value of the platform on the stock market has fluctuated according to official information and tweets from the whimsical multi-billionaire. When he announced that he had reached more than 9% of the capital of Twitter on April 4, the action took off by 25%.
He was to join the board of directors (CA), and then finally not, before announcing his intention to buy the group based in San Francisco, for a total value of 44 billion. The CA opposed it, before yielding. Elon Musk said suspend the operation, then continue. “Musk made statements, sent tweets and carried out other actions designed to sow doubt and substantially lower Twitter’s stock to create some leeway he hoped to use to back out of the deal or renegotiate the deal. price“says the complaint.
Lawyers point out that part of the financing raised by the richest man in the world consisted of loans backed by his Tesla securities, which lost a lot of value in the process. On Wednesday, Elon Musk increased to $ 33.5 billion the amount contributed directly by himself and his partners for the takeover of Twitter, lowering the amount borrowed from banks.
The announcement pleased the market: the action of Twitter resumed 5% in the evening, and continued to progress on Thursday. The entrepreneur with multiple hats (Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink…) has already had trouble with the stock market policeman because of his propensity to tweet information that moves the prices of his listed companies.
Followed on Twitter by more than 95 million people, he plans to withdraw the social network from the stock market when he owns it.