Elon Musk claims to have secured $46.5 billion in financing to purchase Twitter and is in the process of negotiating a deal with the company.
Musk made an offer to buy the social media company for $54.20 per share, or $43 billion, last week. He didn’t say how he planned to fund the purchase at the time.
In documents filed with US securities regulators on Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s considering a tender offer to buy all of the social media platform’s common stock for $54.20 per share in cash. Musk, who owns about 9% of Twitter stock, would make a tender offer to other shareholders instead of going through the board.
Musk, on the other hand, hasn’t made up his mind yet. According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter Inc., based in San Francisco, has yet to respond to Musk’s proposal.
Musk’s updated proposal and “new information on potential financing” were received by Twitter on Thursday, according to a statement released by the company.
The board of directors is “committed to conducting a careful, comprehensive, and deliberate review to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company and all Twitter stockholders,” according to the statement.
Twitter’s board of directors approved a “poison pill” defense last week, which could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive.
“Entities related to (Musk) have received commitment letters committing to provide an aggregate of approximately $46.5 billion,” according to the filing. Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions would provide the funding. Barclays, Bank of America, Societie Generale, Mizuho Bank, BNP Paribas, and MUFG are among the other banks involved. Morgan Stanley is the third-largest shareholder in Twitter, after Vanguard Group and Musk.
Musk stated that Morgan Stanley and other banks provided $13 billion in financing, with up to $12.5 billion in loans secured by his Tesla stock, and that he committed $21 billion in equity, “directly or indirectly,” from himself, though he did not specify the source of those funds. According to the filing, the equity commitment could be reduced by additional debt taken on or contributions from others.
According to Forbes, Musk is the world’s wealthiest man, with a fortune of nearly $279 billion. However, much of his wealth is invested in Tesla stock — he owns about 17% of the company, which is valued at more than $1 trillion, according to FactSet — and SpaceX, his privately held space company. It’s unclear how much money Musk possesses.
Tesla, the electric car and solar panel company, allows executive officers to borrow money using their shares as collateral, but only up to 25% of the value of the pledged shares can be borrowed. Musk owns 172.6 million shares worth $176.47 billion, valued at $176.47 billion. According to a Tesla proxy statement, just over 51% of his stake has already been pledged as collateral. Musk could borrow $21.5 billion with the remaining stake.
According to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, Musk’s bid gains a lot of credibility by obtaining funding from big banks.
The tender offer, according to Ives, puts more pressure on Twitter’s board to find a second bidder or negotiate with Musk. He explained, “It’s a way to get around the poison pill and allow shareholders to speak.”
According to a financing commitment letter the company submitted, Musk and some affiliates formed a Delaware corporation called X Holdings 1 to “acquire, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity interests of, or directly or indirectly merge with Twitter Inc.”
Following the announcement of the financing, Twitter’s stock rose slightly to $46.86 in midday trading on Thursday. The stock is currently trading for $7.34 less than Musk’s offer.
According to the documents, Musk “is seeking to negotiate a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Twitter… and is ready to begin such negotiations immediately.”
Musk would use a tender offer to try to persuade other shareholders to pledge their stock to him at a specific price on a specific date. Musk could use this as leverage to get the board to drop the poison pill defense if enough shareholders agree.
Musk hinted at a tender offer several times this week in tweets that included the word “tender.”