Elon Musk’s Monster Week of Juggling Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX

Even by the requirements of

Elon Musk,

the world’s richest man and serial entrepreneur, this week was one for the ages.

He additionally stirred up a political brouhaha when he steered that Crimea, an space beforehand a part of Ukraine that Moscow annexed in 2014, rightfully is a part of Russia. Mr. Musk’s Starlink satellite-based web service has been utilized by Ukraine to battle invading Russian troops, at one level making Mr. Musk one thing of a hero within the beleaguered nation. However the Crimea remark drew pushback from Kyiv, together with Ukraine’s President

Volodymyr Zelensky.

Maybe probably the most dramatic second, although, got here on Monday, when Mr. Musk notified

Twitter Inc.

TWTR -0.43%

that he deliberate to go ahead with the $44 billion takeover of the enterprise nearly three months after attempting to desert the transaction. The shock about-face got here days earlier than Mr. Musk was because of be deposed forward of an Oct. 17 trial in Delaware Chancery Courtroom, the place Twitter had sued to pressure Mr. Musk to see by means of the transaction that he tried to stroll away from in July.

Behind the scenes, the two events already had been in talks about closing the deal, first agreed to in April, at cheaper phrases, however these discussions went nowhere, The Wall Avenue Journal reported, citing individuals conversant in the matter.

Leonard L. Williams Justice Middle housing the Delaware Chancery Courtroom, the place Twitter sued Elon Musk.


Matt Rourke/Related Press

Mr. Musk, after his U-turn, tweeted Tuesday that purchasing Twitter could be “an accelerant to creating X, the the whole lot app.”

What adopted have been extra arguments between the events, which have been at odds for months. Mr. Musk, in Monday’s letter, had mentioned he would transfer ahead with shopping for Twitter pending receipt of the proceeds of debt financing, and if the court docket stayed proceedings. Twitter, in a court docket submitting made public Thursday, pushed again.

“Defendants can and may shut subsequent week,” Twitter mentioned. “Till they do, this motion shouldn’t be moot and ought to be dropped at trial.” Mr. Musk countered in his personal submitting that “Twitter is not going to take sure for a solution.”

The presiding decide, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, on Thursday dominated in favor of Mr. Musk. She gave each events till Oct. 28 to get the deal executed, although additionally mentioned that ought to a deal not be reached by then, she would rapidly schedule the trial for November.

Twitter will turn into a non-public firm if Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover bid is accepted. The transfer would permit Musk to make adjustments to the location. WSJ’s Dan Gallagher explains Musk’s proposed adjustments and the challenges he may face enacting them. Illustration: Jordan Kranse

All of the whereas, Tesla’s shares have been falling and ended the week down 15.9%—the worst because the week ending March 20, 2020 and the fourth worst week on file for the inventory. The selloff was spurred by third-quarter car deliveries that fell wanting what analysts surveyed by FactSet had anticipated. Some analysts even have mentioned that falling wait instances for some Tesla fashions may sign softening demand. Mr. Musk, the Tesla chief govt, has beforehand mentioned the enterprise is constrained by manufacturing, not demand.

Amid the back-and-forth over the Twitter deal, Mr. Musk additionally took to the social-media platform to announce that Tesla would ship its first all-electric semitrailer truck to meals and beverage maker

PepsiCo Inc.

in December.

Issues have been equally hectic at SpaceX, the privately held rocket and satellite tv for pc firm the place Mr. Musk is also CEO. On Wednesday, one among SpaceX’s rockets transported two American astronauts, one from Japan, and a Russian cosmonaut to the ISS. The identical day one other of his rockets blasted 52 satellites into orbit for the corporate’s Starlink service.

House Exploration Applied sciences Corp., as SpaceX is formally identified, has turn into the world’s busiest launch supplier and Mr. Musk has mentioned he needs the tempo to extend.

The enterprise isn’t with out its challenges. Mr. Musk on Oct. 4 mentioned that Starlink “remains to be removed from money circulation optimistic,” including that rival communications constellations had gone bankrupt.

With all that happening, Mr. Musk turned to Twitter because the weekend approached, to mirror: “Very intense 7 days certainly.”

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at Sarah.Needleman@wsj.com

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