Elon Musk Could Earmark $10

  • Elon Musk could set aside up to $15 billion of his own cash to buy Twitter, the New York Post reported.
  • Despite his wealth, Musk needs financial support from banks or other investors to finance such a large deal.
  • He’ll also have to contend with Twitter’s “poison pill” defense.

Elon Musk is reportedly scrambling to pull together his acquisition bid for Twitter.

According to a New York Post report on Tuesday, which cites two unnamed sources, Musk may be willing to set aside up to $15 billion of his own money to help finance a buyout. 

He’s also asking Morgan Stanley to help him raise another $10 billion in debt, the New York Post reported, with an eye to launching a tender offer in about 10 days. The New York Times separately reported Wednesday that Morgan Stanley is helping Musk drum up debt rather than equity financing for his bid to begin with. A filing with the SEC last Wednesday confirms the bank is advising Musk.

The billionaire, whose net worth is at $261 billion as of Wednesday according to Bloomberg’s estimates, is likely to need considerable financial support to pull together such a large deal.

Some big buyout groups have declined to provide equity to Musk, reported the Financial Times on Wednesday, naming Blackstone Group, Vista Equity Partners, and Brookfield Asset Management.

Among their reported concerns are Twitter’s long-term growth and profitability prospects, and Musk’s maverick persona. The billionaire has aggressively tweeted about his plans for the platform, including loosening content moderation and not paying board members.

Other institutions are considering stumping up debt or preferred equity financing, the newspaper added.

Some investors, such as Apollo Global Management and Thoma Bravo have expressed interest in participating in a bid for Twitter, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

Musk hasn’t publicly detailed how he plans to finance his proposed purchase of Twitter. The Tesla CEO made an unsolicited offer to buy Twitter outright at $54.20 a share, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on April 14, valuing a potential deal at $43 billion. He claimed on April 15 that he has sufficient assets to fund the buyout without giving further detail.

Musk and Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s queries. A Morgan Stanley spokesperson declined to comment.

Blackstone Group and Vista Equity Partners did not immediately respond to Insider’s queries. A Brookfield Asset Management spokesperson declined to comment.

Even if Musk does manage to put together a formal bid, he still has to contend with Twitter’s “poison pill”, a defense mechanism the board put in place to prevent any investor from acquiring more than 15% of the company.

Once an investor, such as Musk, crosses that threshold, the plan would allow all other shareholders as of April 25 to exercise the rights to buy a portion of Twitter’s shares at an exercise price of $210, with an eye to diluting the bigger investor’s stake.

Musk is currently Twitter’s biggest individual shareholder, after building up a stake in the company equating to 9.1% of the firm.

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