By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – A former public relations firm for Twitter sued the social media company on Friday, saying it has not paid its bills since Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout.
Joele Frank said Twitter owes $830,498, comprising six unpaid invoices, plus costs for a subpoena in Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk to complete the buyout after he tried to back out.
The public relations firm said Twitter ended its contract on Nov. 16, three weeks after the buyout closed, and no longer communicates about its payment demand beyond an automated pledge to “get started processing it right away.”
Twitter, also known as X Corp, no longer has a media relations office. It responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit with a poop emoji. A lawyer for Musk copied on that request did not immediately respond to it.
Joele Frank began working for Twitter in January 2015, according to its complaint in a New York state court in Manhattan.
Many landlords, vendors and consultants have sued Twitter over unpaid bills that Musk inherited when he bought the company, before he implemented deep cost cuts.
Twitter is also being sued in Delaware by three former executives including Parag Agrawal, who Musk ousted as CEO, who say it reneged on obligations to reimburse more than $1 million of legal fees.
Musk has said Twitter could generate positive cash flow as soon as this quarter, despite a decline in advertising revenue.
The world’s second-richest person, who also runs electric car company Tesla Inc, has estimated that Twitter has lost more than half its value since he bought it, according to published reports.
The case is JF Associates LLC v X Corp, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Chicago; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)