Twitter Locks Staff Stock Accounts in Anticipation of Deal


(Bloomberg) — Twitter Inc. froze the equity awards accounts for employees on Monday as the deadline to seal a deal with Elon Musk approaches.

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The social media company updated its employee FAQ page this week to alert staff that they won’t be able to access or trade shares from the Equity Award Center. 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 two people familiar with the change.

“This freeze allows Schwab to perform final reconciliation of employee accounts prior to close of the acquisition,” the update reads. Restricted stock units for a number of workers are due to vest early next month, the people said. A number of staff have been seeking other jobs and plan to resign once the stock vests, they said.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

The move is a signal that Twitter is marching forward with the proposed deal. Twitter’s shares jumped 1.9% after the news.

Musk and Twitter are nearing an Oct. 28 deadline to finalize a $44 billion sale that was first announced in April. Musk previously tried to walk away from his offer, prompting Twitter to sue in an effort to consummate the agreement. A judge delayed a planned trial, originally scheduled for this week, to give the two sides more time to finalize the details.

Employees have been waiting anxiously for the deal to close, and many are worried about the possibility of job cuts. On Blind, an anonymous app for employees to chat with one another, some have started to share tips with colleagues on how to prepare for layoffs.

(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph.)

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