Caveat: IANAL, and this is just an explanation how this situation should be understood from the point of view of contract law. If this involves a large amount of money, you should consult a lawyer.
My question is my original acceptance of the offer in anyway binding? Was it ever binding being so informal?
Yes, and yes. Contracts don't need to be formal to be binding. They don't even need to be written.
Is there a time limit on the validity of the offer?
If there was no time limit specified anywhere in your communication, then there is no time limit. They could still at any time execute the purchase to fulfill the contract.
What should typically happen when one party delays the fulfillment of a contract is that the other party sends them a written ultimatum to fulfill the contract within a reasonable timeframe, or have the contract cancelled (and possibly become liable for damages).
But since you don't anymore want the contract to be fulfilled, the situation is more complex, and complicated additionally by the fact that the contract involves a stock price, which is something that is fundamentally volatile so that one could easily argue that the conditions the contract was based on don't apply anymore.
Basically you have these options:
- Send them an ultimatum and hope they still don't react. Then after it expires, your position is bullet-proof. But of course they could react by executing the purchase and you don't want that anymore.
- Do nothing and hope they forget about it. Maybe this will happen, but if they suddenly do excute the purchase you'd have to get them to reverse it, and if they refuse and it goes to court, you'd have to argue why the contract should be considered void if you never stated an ultimatum or retracted your agreement. You might win this, but it's not certain.
- Write them and tell them that since they failed to react to your emails and in light of information you have recieved in the meantime, you retract your agreement to the purchase. This puts you into a much better position in a lawsuit if they try to argue that the contract still stands, but of course it might remind them of it in the first place.