(CNN Business) — Elon Musk may be fighting tooth and nail to get out of his deal to buy Twitter, but the social media company’s shareholders plan to keep him.
Twitter shareholders on Tuesday voted in favor of Musk’s $44 billion takeover deal, worth $54.20 per share. Shares of the company opened Tuesday at just under $41 a share, nearly 25% below the deal price.
The vote came days after Musk sent his third letter to Twitter to terminate the deal, in this case over an alleged $7.75 million severance package the company paid to his former security chief, Peiter Zatko, who subsequently denounced its alleged security and privacy vulnerabilities.
In the letter, Musk’s lawyers claimed that the payment — said to have been made to Zatko and his lawyers on June 28 as part of a separation agreement — violated a provision of the acquisition contract. Under the contract, Twitter agreed not to pay severance payments to employees for amounts that were outside the “ordinary course of business, consistent with past practices.”
Twitter called Musk’s latest effort to opt out of the deal “invalid and flawed.”
Musk first sent a letter to terminate the agreement in July, claiming that Twitter violated the agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam accounts and fake bots on its platform. Twitter sued Musk to complete the acquisition, accusing the billionaire of using bots as a pretext to get out of a deal that gave him buyer’s remorse after a market crash.
Zatko testified before the US Senate on Tuesday about what he says are Twitter’s serious security and privacy vulnerabilities, including the possibility of having foreign intelligence agents on its payroll.
The case between Musk and Twitter is scheduled to go to trial on October 17.
— Clare Duffy of CNN Business contributed to this report.
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Twitter Shareholders Vote in Favor of $44 Billion Elon Musk Acquisition Deal