Twitter locks staff stock accounts in anticipation of deal - Bloomberg News

Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) has frozen equity award accounts for employees days ahead of the deadline to close its deal with Elon Musk, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, a sign that the social media firm hopes the deal will be completed.

The report sent Twitter shares up 1.8% at $51.6, still lower than Musk's offer price of $54.2 per share.

Musk, chief executive of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), and Twitter are directed by the Delaware court to close the $44 billion deal on Oct. 28. The deal was first announced in April.

The social media company updated its employee FAQ page this week to alert staff they won't be able to access or trade shares from the Equity Award Center, according to the report.

The page said the change was done "in anticipation of the closing of the pending acquisition of Twitter by an entity controlled by Elon Musk," according to the report, citing two people familiar with the change.

Twitter declined to comment.

Musk in May tried to walk away from the deal alleging Twitter understated the number of bot and spam accounts on the social media platform, which started a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Earlier this month, Musk reversed course and said he will proceed with the deal on original terms, following which a judge halted the trial that was scheduled for this week.

Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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