Elon Musk has announced that he has secured $US46.5 billion in funding to purchase Twitter, increasing pressure on the company’s board of directors to reach an agreement. Mr. Musk made a bid to purchase the social networking site for $US54.20 per share, or $US43 billion, last week.
He didn’t explain how he planned to fund the purchase at the time.
The money will come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, the Tesla CEO said in paperwork filed with US securities authorities on Thursday, with part of it backed by his massive ownership in the electric vehicle firm.
Mr Musk’s bid has yet to get an official response from Twitter, but the business has implemented a poison pill anti-takeover tool that may make a takeover effort prohibitively expensive.
Mr Musk’s latest proposal and “additional information on prospective finance” were received on Thursday, and the company’s board is “committed to undertaking a thoughtful, comprehensive, and deliberate evaluation,” according to a statement.
Mr Musk, who owns about 9% of the Twitter stock, said he is considering a tender offer, in which he would try to persuade other shareholders to promise their stock to him at a certain price on a specific date, bypassing the board of directors.
Mr Musk may use this as leverage to compel the board to remove its “poison pill” defense against his $US54.20 per share bid if enough shareholders agree.
Mr Musk, on the other hand, has yet to determine whether or not to do so.
The poison pill might drive up the cost of a takeover dramatically.
Mr Musk, who owns about 9% of the Twitter stock, said he is considering a tender offer, in which he would try to persuade other owners to promise their stock to him at a specific price on a specific date, according to bypa. If someone buys a 15% interest in Twitter, it will result in a massive dividend to shareholders, which might collapse the firm.
Barclays, Bank of America, Societe Generale, Mizuho Bank, BNP Paribas, and MUFG are among the other institutions participating in Mr. Musk’s funding.
Morgan Stanley is the third-largest stakeholder in Twitter, after Vanguard Group and Elon Musk.
According to Mr. Musk’s filings, Morgan Stanley and other banks provided $US13 billion in funding.
It might cost up to US$12.5 billion.
According to the filing, the equity commitment might be decreased by contributions from others or the assumption of more debt.
According to Forbes, Mr. Musk is the world’s wealthiest individual, with a worth of about $279 billion.
However, much of his wealth is invested in Tesla shares (he owns roughly 17% of the firm, which is worth over $1 trillion) and SpaceX, his privately held space enterprise.
It’s unknown how much money Mr. Musk possesses.
Tesla permits executive officers to borrow money using their shares as security, but only up to 25% of the value of the pledged shares can be borrowed.
Mr. Musk controls 172.6 million shares with a market value of $US176.47 billion.
According to a Tesla proxy filing, just over 51% of his stock has already been pledged as collateral. That implies Musk could borrow $US21.5 billion with the remaining ownership.
Musk’s newest step, according to Donna Hitscherich, a finance professor at Columbia University, shows him “ratcheting up the seriousness of purpose” by signing up significant institutions to bankroll his bid.
“If you’re looking for funding, they are the obvious suspects,” she remarked.
“But it’s obviously moving in the direction that if he goes ahead and launches the tender offer, he’ll be able to make good on his intentions.”
Following the announcement of the funding, Twitter’s stock increased marginally to $US47.04 in Thursday trade.
The stock is now trading at a discount to Mr. Musk’s offer of $US7.16.
According to Olaf Groth, a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley, “the market is waiting for this to come to a head” and for other bids to come forward.
Professor Groth found the disclosure of Mr Musk’s big financial supporters “mildly shocking” since “a lot of his fortune is related to Tesla success, and Tesla has been on the volatile side of stock performance.”
Tesla, on the other hand, had great quarterly profits this week, and Mr Musk is ecstatic “seen as following through on commitments That might be a factor “Professor Groth stated the following.
According to filings filed with securities authorities, Mr Musk “is aiming to negotiate a formal deal for the purchase of Twitter… and is willing to initiate such discussions immediately.”
Mr Musk has advocated a variety of policy changes at Twitter in recent weeks, ranging from loosening content restrictions — such as the regulations that terminated US President Donald Trump’s account — to resolving the platform’s issues with phoney and automated accounts.
On Thursday, he tweeted, “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will destroy the spam bots or die trying!”
When rival offers are made public, Twitter’s board of directors can examine not just the financial conditions, but also Mr Musk’s and his competitors’ particular proposals for restructuring the social media firm.
That’s when Mr Musk’s ideas, many of which he’s linked to values of free speech, might come into play.
“That could be ground for rejecting the offer,” Professor Groth said of the business plans.
“Some of that will be [about] money and some of that will be a beauty contest. Some of the board members will also talk about what’s in the public interest.”