Elon Musk 'excited' about buying Twitter but says he is 'overpaying'

Twitter has potential to be worth 'an order of magnitude' more than it is now, billionaire says

SpaceX owner and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. Reuters
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Elon Musk said he is “excited” about taking over Twitter, even though he spent months trying to break free of the $44 billion buyout contract.

A US judge earlier this month suspended litigation in the saga over Mr Musk's proposed takeover of Twitter, giving the parties until October 28 to finalise the on-again, off-again megadeal.

Twitter had filed a lawsuit to hold Mr Musk to the terms of the deal he signed in April after the Tesla chief sent word he was terminating the contract.

“I'm excited about the Twitter situation,” Mr Musk said while fielding questions on a Tesla quarterly earnings call.

“I think it's an asset that has just sort of languished for a long time but has incredible potential, although obviously myself and the other investors are overpaying for Twitter right now.”

He added that he believes Twitter has potential to be worth “an order of magnitude” more than it is now.

Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick granted a request by Mr Musk to freeze the case despite bitter opposition from Twitter and said that a trial originally set for this week could be rescheduled for next month if a deal is not finalised.

With the trial on Twitter's breach-of-contract suit against Mr Musk looming, the unpredictable billionaire had done an about-face, reviving his takeover plan on condition the court halt the lawsuit against him.

Mr Musk began to step back from the Twitter deal soon after it was agreed to and said in July he was cancelling the purchase because he was misled by Twitter concerning the number of fake “bot” accounts — allegations that have been rejected by the company.

Twitter, meanwhile, has sought to prove Mr Musk was contriving excuses to walk away — simply because he changed his mind.

The billionaire's potential stewardship of the influential social media site has sparked worry from activists who fear he could open the gates to more abusive and deceptive posts.

Updated: October 20, 2022, 5:28 PM