Twitter subpoenas investment firms backing Elon Musk as legal battle over acquisition escalates

Twitter has subpoenaed a number of financial powerhouses supporting Elon Musk, including Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Bank of America. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License picture

August 4 (UPI) — Twitter has subpoenaed a number of financial powerhouses in Elon Musk’s circle, fueling the legal battle over his attempts to pull out of a $44 billion acquisition deal.

The company this week delivered legal documents to investment banks that had been in talks with Musk about funding the deal, including Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Bank of America, the company said. New York Times reported.

Others on the list included venture capital firms Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures and Social Capital.

The subpoenas indicate that Twitter’s legal team is seeking to refine their theory that the world’s richest man abandoned efforts to obtain funding for the deal in violation of their acquisition contract.

“The courts in Delaware themselves are very suspicious of people who basically have their fingerprints all over the place in self-sabotage,” Eric Talley, a professor at Columbia Law School, told The Times.

The musk has says he’s lost interest buying Twitter over the number of bots and fake accounts on the social media service, which its legal team says is higher than expected and justified its decision to pull out of the deal.

The company says no and has called Musk’s legal strategy a “pattern of hypocrisy” and a “pattern of bad faith” as he tries to force Musk to go through with the acquisition.

“From the outset, the defendants’ requests for information were designed to try to frustrate the deal,” Twitter’s legal team said in its lawsuit. “Musk’s increasingly outlandish demands reflect not a genuine review of Twitter’s processes, but a litigation-focused campaign to try to build a record of non-cooperation on Twitter’s part.”

One of the subpoenaed venture capitalists, Joe Lonsdale, called Twitter’s move “a giant, harassing fishing expedition.”

“I had nothing to do with it other than a few sarcastic comments, but I received a notice of ‘YOU ARE HEREBY ORDERED’ document”, Lonsdale tweeted.

The legal showdown is expected to take place in a five-day trial at the Delaware Court of Chancery.