Elon Musk has ‘Funding Secured’ to purchase Twitter

The news: Elon Musk is considering launching a tender offer for Twitter, per a new securities filing. Musk has obtained promises for $46.5 billion to help finance the possible transaction, according to Thursday’s filing.

  • In his filing, he stated that, given the board’s ignoring of his “best and final offer” last week, he is now considering a tender offer to buy some or all of the company's shares directly from its stockholders.

More on this: According to the filing, Musk has collected $46.5 billion in commitments to help finance the proposed deal.

  • He has obtained $25.5 billion in debt financing from a bank group including Morgan Stanley as well as Bank of America, Barclays, MUFG, Societe Generale, Mizuho Bank, and BNP Paribas.
  • The remaining $21 billion comes from equity financing. Notably, the filing makes no mention of any equity partners who will split the financial burden of the purchase with Musk.
  • Despite being the richest person on the planet—Musk's personal net worth is about $77 billion as of this writing, per Forbes—he cannot purchase Twitter without help since the majority of his net worth is invested in Tesla stock. He’ll be borrowing against his stock to secure some of that $25.5 billion in financing, but the amount of shares he can use as collateral is limited. Another factor: banks may be concerned about the relative volatility of Tesla's stock.

How we got here: Musk was set to take a seat on Twitter’s board of directors, but backed out at the last second.

  • Then, Musk proposed to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, or $43 billion, last week. He added that if his offer was rejected, he might “need to reconsider (his) position as a shareholder."
  • In an effort to fight off a potential hostile takeover, Twitter enacted a limited term shareholder rights plan, also known as a “poison pill,” on Friday.

Poorly-timed distraction: “There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged," tweeted Twitter chief Parag Agrawal just 11 days ago when Musk backed out of joining the board. The statement was spot-on; Musk’s financial maneuvers are undoubtedly taking leadership’s focus away from the product.

While rank-and-file employees still have their marching orders, uncertainty regarding the platform’s future could delay innovations that it is looking to launch or expand upon. These include:

  • Twitter Blue, the burgeoning subscription service—ironically, something Musk is a fan of growing.
  • Twitter Shops, which we reported in March is being tested and would allow brands and retailers to display up to 50 products in an in-app storefront.
  • A potential foray into podcasting.
  • Its crowdsourced Birdwatch program, designed to combat misinformation on the platform.
  • Additional performance marketing tools, designed to better compete with Meta’s Facebook and Instagram.

Shops is a particularly noteworthy initiative of Twitter’s, considering social media shoppers don’t associate the platform with making purchases as much as they do TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms. Solving for that could take pressure off of Twitter’s ad business.

What’s next: Twitter’s board stated that it’s dedicated to completing a “careful, comprehensive, and deliberate review” to determine the course of action that is in the best interest of Twitter and its investors.

  • Of course, one of those shareholders is Musk himself, who currently controls a 9.2% stake.
  • Some experts say that with the poison pill defense in place, it won’t be easy for Musk to finalize a tender bid for Twitter, as a negotiation with the board must take place, and it appears there’s no love lost between the two parties.
  • Musk has stated publicly that buying Twitter is about the future of civilization rather than a means to “make money.” If taken at face value, that suggests Musk isn’t trying to maximize Twitter’s profits—and perhaps the board ought to find a buyer who is.
  • Apollo Global Management was reportedly willing to work with Musk on a purchase, but was not mentioned in the filing. Could Apollo or another firm—perhaps Thoma Bravo, as has been reported by multiple outlets—be looking to outbid Musk? It’s certainly possible.