Musk says he has financing to take Twitter buyout bid to investors

Elon Musk has lined up enough financing to take his hostile Twitter takeover bid to shareholders, according to a securities filing

Elon Musk has lined up enough financing to take his hostile Twitter takeover bid to shareholders, according to a securities filing. AFP/Olivier Douliery

NEW YORK - Elon Musk has lined up $46.5-billion in financing for a possible hostile takeover of Twitter and is "exploring" a direct tender offer to shareholders, according to a securities filing released on Thursday.

Musk's filing pointed to a $13-billion debt facility from a financing consortium led by Morgan Stanley, a separate $12.5-billion margin loan from the same bank, as well as $21-billion from Musk's personal fortune.

The Tesla chief, who has been rebuffed by the Twitter board, is "exploring whether to commence a tender offer... but has not determined whether to do so at this time," the filing said.

READ: Twitter, analysts wary of Musk takeover bid

Still, shares of Twitter did not rise significantly, suggesting skepticism that a deal will happen.

The world's richest man on April 14 launched an unsolicited bid to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, saying the influential microblogging platform had fallen short of free-speech imperatives.

The following day, Twitter moved to defend itself against the $43-billion takeover effort, announcing a "poison pill" plan that would make it harder for the billionaire to get a controlling stake in the social media company.

READ: Elon Musk's move to buy Twitter faces roadblocks

Despite Musk's great wealth, the question of financing had been seen as a potential stumbling block because much of Musk's holdings are in Tesla shares rather than cash.

Shares of Twitter fluctuated Thursday, finishing at $47.08, up 0.8 percent but far below the $54.20 price in Musk's offer. That suggests investors remain skeptical a deal will happen, said Eric Talley, a professor a Columbia Law School specializing in corporate law and mergers.

"I think a lot of people feel like either the board isn't going to start talking to Elon Musk, or that Elon Musk might just decide to chase a different rainbow the day after tomorrow, and this will all have been a big fever dream," Talley told AFP.

Source
AFP

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