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Elon Musk says he has received funding commitments for Twitter buyout and is exploring tender offer

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 4/22/2022 Emily Bary
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Funding secured?


Video: Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board of directors (MSNBC)

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Elon Musk confirmed in a Thursday filing that he was “exploring whether to commence a tender offer” for Twitter Inc. and said that he has received funding commitments to help him do so.

The Tesla Inc. chief has been teasing the possibility that he would launch a tender offer for Twitter in some recent lyrical and literary tweets, amid a bitter battle with the company’s management team over ownership of the social-media platform. Thursday’s filing formally confirmed that interest, and offered new details about funding commitments from Morgan Stanley that Musk said he had lined up.

Musk first disclosed earlier this month that he had amassed a roughly 9% stake in Twitter, and originally the company planned to put him on the board of directors with the caveat that he couldn’t amass a Twitter stake of more than 14.9% while in the role. That board plan quickly fell through, and Musk announced last week that he was seeking to acquire the company outright for $54.20 a share, or roughly $43 billion.

Twitter adopted a “poison pill” strategy following Musk’s unsolicited bid, seeking to block the takeover.

“Given the lack of response by Twitter,” Musk said in his filing, that he was exploring a tender offer, though he has “has not determined whether to do so at this time.”

Also read: Elon Musk says there’s a ‘Plan B’ to acquire Twitter if his current bid fails — but he doesn’t say what it is.

Musk, who drew the ire of regulators for a 2018 tweet claiming he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share, suggested he was better armed with funding for this Twitter bid.

He submitted a pair of debt-commitment letters from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. and other financial institutions indicating that the bank partners are willing to provide $25.5 billion of funding in aggregate related to the bid. Additionally, he provided his own equity-commitment letter, which he said indicated that he was prepared to pay the remaining amounts related to the merger offer, amounting to about $21 billion.

Twitter’s stock rose 1.0% in morning trading, implying a market capitalization of $37.71 billion. It has gained 2.9% since Musk disclosed his buyout bid.

Over the past 12 months, Twitter’s stock has tumbled 29.9%, while the S&P 500 index has gained 7.8%.

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