Elon Musk is currently facing a lawsuit from a Twitter investor who alleged that the Tesla CEO illegally delayed the disclosure of his stake in the social media company so that he could purchase more shares at lower prices. By doing so, the plaintiff argued that some Twitter investors who sold shares in the time leading up to Musk’s disclosure ended up missing out on the stock’s eventual rise.
The complaint accused Musk of violating a rule which required investors to disclose their position if they accumulate a stake of at least 5% in a company. This was not done, according to the suit, as Musk did not disclose his Twitter holdings until he had almost doubled his stake to over 9%. If Musk had followed US securities law, he should have disclosed his holdings on March 24, but he held out until April 4 to announce his Twitter stake.
Twitter stock soared 27% from its April 1 close to nearly $50 per share at the end of April 4’s trading, the day when Musk disclosed his stake in the company. The lawsuit alleged that Musk’s delayed disclosure ended up depriving Twitter investors of realizing very significant gains.
The complaint was filed in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday by Twitter investor Marc Bain Rasella. The investor is looking to have his complaint certified as a class-action lawsuit for TWTR shareholders who sold the stock between March 24 and April 1, 2022. During that period, Musk was still able to purchase Twitter shares at prices ranging from $37.69 to $40.96, a significant discount from TWTR’s price following Musk’s April 4 disclosure.
Elon Musk’s Twitter stake has effectively made him the social media company’s single largest shareholder. The Tesla CEO was initially set to join Twitter’s Board of Directors, but this past weekend, it was announced that Musk had declined the appointment. This all but opens the doors for Musk to acquire more of the company without much limitations.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Jacob Walker, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit against Elon Musk, stated that he is yet to reach out to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the CEO’s alleged violations. Walker noted, however, that he assumes that the SEC is already well aware of the situation. “I assume the SEC is well aware of what he did,” Walker said.
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