Musk Making Up Excuses To Breach Deal, Says Twitter

In this photo illustration, The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with more than 80 million followers in shown on a cell phone on April 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Twitter on Thursday said the notion Elon Musk was “hoodwinked” into inking a $44 billion buyout deal defies reason and the facts.

In a filing, Twitter rejected counterclaims made by Musk as he fights to walk away from the deal he inked in April to buy the San Francisco-based company.

“According to Musk, he – the billionaire founder of multiple companies, advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers – was hoodwinked by Twitter into signing a $44 billion merger agreement,” Twitter said.

“That story is as implausible and contrary to the fact as it sounds.”

Musk last week filed a countersuit along with a legal defense against Twitter’s claim that the billionaire is contractually bound to complete the takeover deal.

“The counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” Twitter argued in the filing.

READ ALSO: US Says Russia Will Fake Scene Around Mass POW Deaths To Blame Ukraine

A five-day trial that will consider Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk has been scheduled for October 17.

The Tesla boss wooed Twitter’s board with a $54.20 per-share offer, but then in July announced he was ending their agreement because the firm had misled him regarding its tally of fake and spam accounts.

Twitter, whose stock price closed at $41.06 on Thursday, has stuck by its estimates that less than 5 percent of the activity on the platform is due to software “bots” rather than people.

Twitter told the court that Musk’s claim that the false account figure tops 10 percent is “untenable.”

The company also disputed Musk’s assertion that he has the right to walk away from the deal if Twitter’s bot count is found to be wrong since he didn’t ask anything about bots when he made the buyout offer.

“Musk forwent all due diligence – giving Twitter twenty-four hours to accept his take-it-or-leave-it offer before he would present it directly to Twitter’s stockholders,” the filing said.

The company accused Musk of contriving a story to escape a merger agreement that he no longer found attractive.

“Twitter has complied in every respect with the merger agreement,” the company said in the filing made to Chancery Court in the state of Delaware.

“Musk’s counterclaims, based as they are on distortion, misrepresentation, and outright deception, change nothing.”

The social media platform has urged shareholders to endorse the deal, setting a vote on the merger for September 13.

“We are committed to closing the merger on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk,” Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal and board chairman Bret Taylor said in a letter to investors.

Billions of dollars are at stake, but so is the future of Twitter, which Musk has said should allow any legal speech — an absolutist position that has sparked fears the network could be used to incite violence.

AFP

Musk Secures $7.1bn To Finance Twitter Deal

In this photo illustration, The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with more than 80 million followers in shown on a cell phone on April 25, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Elon Musk has raised $7.1 billion for his Twitter acquisition from investors that include Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, according to a securities filing Thursday.

Musk, chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, listed 18 investors who agreed to cash investments including Ellison ($1 billion), Sequoia Capital ($800 million) and Vy Capital ($700 million).

The Saudi prince, the head of the Kingdom Holding Company conglomerate, agreed to contribute about 35 million Twitter shares worth $1.9 billion so as to retain a stake in the company post-acquisition, the filing said.

Alwaleed had previously balked at Musk’s $54.20 per share offer as too low, but praised Musk on Twitter on Thursday, saying “I look forward to roll our ~$1.9bn in the ‘new’ @Twitter and join you on this exciting journey.”

READ ALSO: TikTok To Launch Ad Revenue-Sharing Program For Creators

The investments will reduce a $12.5 billion margin loan organized through Morgan Stanley and other banks to $6.25 billion, the filing said.

The new financing means less of Musk’s Tesla shares will be used as collateral under the margin loan.

Musk “may receive additional financing commitments to fund additional portions of the total Merger Consideration,” the filing said, adding that the Tesla chief is in talks with former Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and others who may contribute shares to maintain an equity stake.

The Twitter takeover is expected to close later in 2022.

CNBC reported that upon completion of the deal, Musk is expected to serve as temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months, the network said, citing unnamed sources.

AFP

Australia Accuses China Of Paying Bribes To Win Deals

Australia on the map.

 

Australia’s defence minister on Sunday accused China of paying bribes for international deals but refused to say whether corruption played a role in Beijing’s newly signed defence pact with the Solomon Islands.

Peter Dutton made the allegations as his conservative government faced questions in the run-up to May 21 general elections about how China apparently outmanoeuvred Australia by securing the agreement.

The deal shocked the Solomon Islands’ traditional allies Australia and the United States, which fear it may give China a military foothold in the South Pacific less than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) from Australia’s coast.

“The Chinese don’t play by our rules,” Dutton said.

“If you look at what has happened in Africa, there are corrupt payments being made,” he told Sky News Australia. “We can never compete with that sort of playbook. We have values and we have the rule of law that we abide by.”

READ ALSO: Russia Slaps Travel Ban On Kamala Harris, Zuckerberg

Asked specifically if he believed corrupt payments were made to forge China’s deal with the Solomon Islands, which was announced by Beijing on April 19, the minister said he could not comment.

“The reality is that China has changed,” he added.

“China’s incredibly aggressive acts of foreign interference, the preparedness to pay bribes to beat other countries to deals: that’s the reality of modern China.”

A draft of the pact shocked countries in the region when it was leaked last month, particularly measures that would allow Chinese naval deployments to the Solomons.

A White House delegation visited the Solomon Islands capital Honiara on Friday to warn of repercussions if China was to establish a permanent military presence in the Pacific nation under the new agreement.

The White House said the officials had told Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare that the recently signed pact had “potential regional security implications” for Washington and its allies.

“If steps are taken to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power-projection capabilities, or a military installation, the delegation noted that the United States would then have significant concerns and respond accordingly,” the White House said in a statement.

 ‘No Military Base’ 

National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink led the delegation, which also included Pentagon officials.

According to the White House statement, “Sogavare reiterated his specific assurances that there would be no military base, no long-term presence, and no power projection capability, as he has said publicly”.

Sogavare’s government severed ties with Taiwan in September 2019 in favour of diplomatic relations with China, unlocking investment but stoking inter-island rivalries.

Last November, protests against Sogavare’s rule sparked violent riots in the capital, during which much of the city’s Chinatown was torched.

While the unrest was partly fuelled by poverty and unemployment, anti-China sentiment was also cited as playing a role.

When asked about China’s influence in the Pacific, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Friday that Beijing was exerting “enormous pressure” on leaders of Pacific island nations.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian in turn accused “Australian politicians” of “coercive diplomacy” in the region.

AFP

US, UK Sign Deal To Protect Titanic Wreck

 

Britain on Tuesday hailed a new treaty with the United States that seeks to protect the wreck of the Titanic from damage by explorers and tourists.

The remains of the ship lie largely intact 2.5 miles (four kilometres) below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean after it hit an iceberg in 1912.

But there have been growing concerns about visitors taking artefacts, leaving rubbish and even placing plaques in memory of the 1,500 people who died.

An international treaty to limit access was signed by Britain in 2003 but only ratified by the United States in November last year.

During a visit to Belfast in Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built, British maritime minister Nusrat Ghani said it was a “momentous agreement”.

It meant the site “will be treated with the sensitivity and respect owed to the final resting place of more than 1,500 lives”, she said, according to a government statement.

“The UK will now work closely with the other North Atlantic States to bring even more protection to the wreck of the Titanic.”

Built by Harland and Wolff, the Titanic was the largest and most luxurious passenger vessel of its time and described as “unsinkable”.

It set sail on its maiden voyage from the English port of Southampton on April 10, 1912, bound for New York but it never arrived.

The ship, carrying around 2,224 passengers, hit an iceberg on April 15, broke apart and sank to the bottom of the ocean.

The wreck was discovered in September 1985 about 350 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, in Canada.

Several countries have been negotiating an international deal to protect it since then, while it is also protected by UNESCO.

Britain and the US have now both passed legislation giving them the power to grant or deny licences authorising people to enter the hull sections of the Titanic and remove artefacts, UK officials said.

AFP

PSG Coach Tuchel Extends Deal To 2021

Tuchel Says PSG Need New Faces For Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain’s German coach Thomas Tuchel reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Paris Saint-Germain and SSC Napoli at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on October 24, 2018. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has extended his deal with the French Ligue 1 champions through to June 2021, the club announced on Saturday.

The 45-year-old German took over in June 2018 and despite winning Ligue 1 has come under scrutiny after the Parisian club’s defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League last 16.

The news cuts short speculation that PSG’s Qatari owners would fire Tuchel and hire outgoing Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I’m delighted to extend my contract and commitment to Paris Saint-Germain,” Tuchel said.

“I’d like to thank the chairman and the whole club for their trust in me and my staff. This only reinforces my ambition to bring this team to the very top through hard work,” he told the club website

“I’m also very touched by the backing of our supporters, and I’m sure that the best is yet to come for our club.”

Nasser al-Khelaifi, Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO, praised Tuchel’s energy and modus operandi.

“For a year now, Thomas has been bringing fantastic energy to the daily life of the club, not only for the players, but for the whole of Paris Saint-Germain,” the Qatari said.

“We are delighted to be able to rely on his qualities on a long-term basis.”

Tuchel was appointed last year on a two-year deal to succeed Unai Emery. He had been widely praised for his work at the Parc des Princes, but another elimination from the Champions League in the first knockout round had raised questions.

PSG had been desperate to make progress in Europe after being knocked out of the Champions League last 16 in back-to-back seasons under Emery.

They looked on course to reach the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win away to United in the first leg, but a 3-1 home loss at the Parc des Princes knocked them out on away goals.

The nature of their defeat, especially coming two years after their capitulation against Barcelona at the same stage, has seen PSG widely labelled as bottlers, incapable of dealing with the tension on the big stage.

AFP

Solskjaer Hopeful De Gea Will Sign New United Deal

Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (R) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on February 24, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident that Manchester United will be able to retain the services of David de Gea, the man he rates as the best goalkeeper in the world.

But the future of captain Antonio Valencia is less clear with the club apparently poised not to trigger a contract extension for the long-serving Ecuadorian.

United did take up an option to extend De Gea’s current deal to 2020 this season.

However, reports suggest the Spaniard is holding out for an offer at least on a par with Alexis Sanchez as United’s highest paid player having won the club’s player of the year for four of the past five seasons.

READ ALSO: Barca Extend Alba’s Contract Until 2024

Solskjaer is optimistic that United will take care of the business before running the risk of losing De Gea for a cut-price at the end of the season or on a free transfer next summer.

“There are no updates from me, the club and David are in dialogue, hopefully, they’ll agree, it’s out of my hands but I’m sure we’ll do what we can,” said Solskjaer.

“He’s been player of the year I don’t know how many years, four or five, we’re grateful to have him.”

Solskjaer would not be drawn on ranking De Gea alongside his former teammates Edwin van der Sar or Peter Schmeichel from his playing days but clearly feels that United’s number one is worthy of comparison with the club’s best ever.

“It’s difficult to compare them but Edwin and Peter were never player of the year,” he said.

“David’s meant so many points for us over the years and I would say he’s the best goalkeeper in the world, Peter was at the time and Edwin at the time as well.

“I’m delighted with David and his personality is fantastic. Such a humble and confident boy.”

The future looks less rosy for Valencia, currently struggling with a debilitating calf injury, the latest in a long list of fitness problems that have limited him to one league start in the past five months.

The 33-year-old full-back, who will have been a United player for 10 years this June, is out of contract this summer and it appears that the club will not activate the one-year option that could keep him at Old Trafford for an additional 12 months.

That deadline was due to expire at 5pm on Friday, but Solskjaer has not ruled out Valencia remaining at Old Trafford if he can prove his fitness over the final weeks of the season.

“He’s still not 100 percent fit, he is still working to get back fit and he’s had a fantastic career here at Man United and in England,” said the manager.

“He is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room, but at the moment I’m not sure if Man United and Antonio will agree on the next year. It depends if he gets back on the pitch as well in the next few months.

“But he’s the captain, a great servant to the club so hopefully I can get him on the pitch and show what he can do, or he can get himself 100 percent fit and back on the pitch.”

Solskjaer is aiming to stretch his unbeaten run in domestic games to 15 matches when Southampton visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Norwegian is still without a host of first team regulars through injury, but Marcus Rashford has shaken off the effects of an ankle injury and is set to start.

str/kca/nr

Barca Striker Alcacer Signs $26m Dortmund Deal

Borussia Dortmund have taken up the option to sign Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer for 23 million euros ($26 million), the Spanish club confirmed on Friday. 

Barca said in a statement that Dortmund will also pay five million euros in additional fees for the 25-year-old while retaining a five per cent stake of any future sale.

“Borussia Dortmund has taken advantage of the permanent transfer option in the agreement with FC Barcelona reached last August for the player Paco Alcacer,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: Injured Bayern Keeper Neuer To Miss Leverkusen Clash

Alcacer joined Barcelona for 30 million euros from Valencia in 2016 but his playing time was limited at the Camp Nou and he moved to Dortmund on loan last summer.

The Spaniard has been a revelation since then, scoring 16 goals in 20 games for club and country this season, while helping Dortmund establish a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

AFP

Trump Announces Deal To Reopen US Government

US President Donald Trump speaks about the government shutdown on January 25, 2019, from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Trump says will sign bill to reopen the government until February 15. Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

 

President Donald Trump Friday announced a deal with opposition Democrats to temporarily reopen the US federal government, shut down for a record five weeks by a bitter row over funding for a US-Mexico border wall.

“We have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said. “In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks, until February 15.”

READ ALSO:  Ex-Trump Adviser Stone Indicted In Mueller Probe

While defending his wall project, Trump made no firm announcement regarding his demand for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall — a key campaign promise to his right-wing base.

AFP

 

Everton Complete Andre Gomes, Others Deal

Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes

 

Everton completed the signings of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes from Barcelona and Brazilian free-agent winger Bernard on Thursday in a triple deadline-day swoop for the Premier League club.

Mina, a 23-year-old central defender who scored three goals in three games for Colombia at the World Cup, will move to Goodison Park in a 30.25 million euro (£27 million, $35 million) deal with the Catalan giants, plus 1.5 million more in add ons.

Portuguese midfielder Gomes, 25, will join on a season-long loan at a cost of 2.25 million euros for the English club.

Bernard, a 25-year-old capped 14 times by Brazil, was a free agent after his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expired.

AFP

Ederson Signs New Seven-Year Man City Deal

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (L) talks with Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson (R) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on May 13, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Premier League champions Manchester City rewarded Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson for his role in a record 100-point campaign by extending his contract to 2025 on Sunday.

Ederson, 24, signed a six-year contract when he joined from Benfica for £35 million ($47 million) just under 12 months ago.

But such has been his impact since replacing the error-prone Claudio Bravo, City have already extended that deal by a further two years.

And after winning the Premier League by a record 19 points, Ederson is targeting City’s first ever Champions League crown next season.

“I’m delighted to sign my new contract. It means that the club is happy with my work, they trust me, and I hope to meet their expectations on the pitch and bring a lot of joy to the fans,” he said in a City statement.

“I want to win everything we can! All of the competitions, but for me the Champions League is without a doubt a very special competition for us, and it is my dream to win it in Manchester City’s shirt!”

Ederson is expected to be included in the Brazil squad that will aim to win a sixth World Cup in Russia later this summer.

However, he is likely to be the understudy to Roma’s Alisson Becker.

AFP

Obafemi Martins joins Levante from Rubin Kazan

Former Super Eagles striker; Obafemi Martins has moved to Spanish club Levante dumping his Russian club Rubin Kazan as he agreed to terminate his contract with the Russian club.

Martins who left inter Milan to Wolfsburg before he moved to Rubin Kazan is expected to earn an annual wage of around €600,000 every season.

Obafemi Martins was entitled to a wage of €2.2 million at Rubin Kazan after signing a deal worth €9 million from German Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg.

Martins signed a two-year deal with Levante on Tuesday and will be unveiled today.