Twitter stock was halted twice and rose around 13% in midday trading Tuesday following reports that Elon Musk has proposed to move forward with his deal to buy the company at the originally agreed upon price of $54.20 per share.
Bloomberg and the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Musk had sent a letter to Twitter proposing to complete the deal as originally signed, citing people familiar with the negotiations.
Representatives for Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news comes as the the two sides have been preparing to head to trial in two weeks over Musk’s attempt to pull out of the $44 billion acquisition agreement, which Twitter had sued him to complete. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal had been set to be deposed by Musk’s lawyers on Monday, and Twitter’s lawyers had planned to depose Musk starting on Thursday.
Such an agreement could bring to an end a contentious, months-long back and forth between Musk and Twitter that has caused massive uncertainty for employees, investors and users of one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.
The saga began in April when Musk revealed he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder. Over the next several months, Musk accepted and then backed out of an offer to sit on Twitter’s board, threatened a hostile takeover of the company, signed an agreement to buy the company, started raising concerns about bots on the platform, attempted to terminate the agreement, was sued by Twitter to follow through with the deal and added claims from a Twitter whistleblower to his argument.
Still, many legal experts have said that Twitter has the stronger argument heading into court, and that Musk would a face a significant burden in trying to prove that the company had made materially misleading statements in its securities filings or in the deal contract.
The lawsuit was the final hurdle remaining in the way of the deal getting closed, after Twitter shareholders last month voted to approve the deal.