Elon Musk’s Twitter deal threats put new financing on ice, sources say
This illustration was taken in Krakow (Poland) on April 14, 2022 and shows Elon Musk tweet on screen. The logo of Twitter is displayed on the screen on the phone screen.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Musk is trying to find new financing to limit the cash contribution to his acquisition worth $44 billion. Twitter IncPeople familiar with the situation said that the agreement was uncertain and the decision to suspend the sale has been made.
Musk is threatening to leave the deal without the company providing data. The social media firm estimates that less than 5 percent of their users are spammers or fake accounts. The result was a letter from Musk’s lawyers to TwitterHe warned him Monday that he could walk out if he doesn’t get more information.
Musk must pay $33.5 Billion in cash, after having secured debt financing. Given that Musk is heavily tied to his shares (which Forbes puts at $218billion), his liquidity is restricted. Tesla IncHe’s the chief electric car manufacturer.
Sources say that Musk was in talks to secure preferred equity financing in the range of $2 billion-$3 billion from Apollo Global Management Inc. The funding would allow him to reduce his cash contribution. One source said that these conversations have been put on hold to ensure clarity regarding the future acquisition.
First, the halt in funding activities is a clear indication that Musk’s threats may be interfering in steps necessary to complete the deal. Twitter insists that Musk has fulfilled his obligations under the contract and has helped to get regulatory approval.
Twitter and Musk spokespersons did not reply to our requests for comment. Apollo did not comment.
Musk was sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla sharesHe signed the deal to purchase Twitter in April. It is unclear how much money he has to pay his obligations. In order to decrease his contribution, Musk has secured $7.1 Billion from an equity co-investor group. Musk attempted to further reduce his exposure by setting up a $12.5 billion margin loan linked to Tesla shares. However, it was cancelled last month.
Twitter would issue a fixed dividend for preferred equity, which would be the equivalent of a regular loan or bond that pays interest. However, the value of the company would increase in line with its equity.
Deal uncertainty also has impacted banks’ plans to syndicate the $13billion of debt that they had committed to purchase. Sources said that while the banks are still working on syndicating the debt, they will wait for clarity about the deal before launching the process.
According to sources, banks don’t believe that credit investors will purchase debt until uncertainty is over. Musk’s work has also been praised by the banks. disparaging public commentsThe sources said that they found the information about the company to be unhelpful and that they hoped he would help them with presentations to investors in order for the syndicated deal.
The banks and Musk have made their commitments to finance the deal. This is certain. Twitter may take them to court to have them comply with their financial obligations as per the agreement.
If Musk’s Twitter dispute escalated in court, the banks could face major problems with the syndication. A judge forced them to finance the deal. They could have difficulty getting investors to take over the debt, if Musk is not interested in the company.
However, this possibility is considered remote. Investors are simply trading Twitter stock with the belief that it’s more likely that Twitter will reach a settlement or allow Musk to walk away than endure long-running litigation.