Apr 21, 2022 - Economy

Elon Musk goes it alone on Twitter, for now

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Elon Musk on Thursday disclosed in a federal securities filing that he doesn't yet have any equity partners on his takeover bid for Twitter, but said that he has secured billions of dollars worth of loan commitments from Morgan Stanley.

Why it matters: Musk is saying he can afford to buy Twitter, either via last week's $43 billion offer, to which Twitter's board hasn't yet responded, or via a hostile tender offer that would be taken straight to company shareholders.

By the numbers: Musk committed to invest up to $21 billion of his own money, although this wouldn't preclude him from cutting back on that amount by bringing on equity partners at a later date. He also said he has $13 billion in committed debt financing from Morgan Stanley and $12.5 billion of margin loan commitments from Morgan Stanley.

  • Musk late last year sold around $5 billion of Tesla shares, but his current 16.7% stake is valued at approximately $177 billion. He also has a major piece of privately held SpaceX, which most recently was valued by venture capitalists at $100 billion.

Behind the numbers: Musk got into hot water in 2018 for falsely claiming to have "funding secured" for a take-private buyout of Tesla.

  • Today's filing seems to be, in part, a way to show that he's not making the same mistake twice; and to deny Twitter's board the chance to reject his bid based on insufficient financing.

Be smart: Musk still hasn't actually launched a stock tender, and Twitter's board may try to call his bluff.

  • Twitter shares opened today at $45.51, well below Musk's $54.20 per share offer, and are up only slightly on the news.

What they're saying: "We are in receipt of the updated, non-binding proposal from Elon Musk, which provides additional information regarding the original proposal and new information on potential financing," a Twitter spokesperson said.

  • The spokesperson added that "the Board is committed to conducting a careful, comprehensive and deliberate review to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from a Twitter spokesperson.

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