Does Elon Musk have the funds to buy Twitter? What's next for social media firm?

  • Elon Musk rejected an invitation to join Twitter's board after disclosing his stake, a move, analysts said, signalled his takeover intentions as a board seat would have limited his shareholding to just under 15%.
Elon Musk made the bid on Wednesday in a letter to the board of Twitter and it was made public in a regulatory filing on Thursday.(Reuters)
Elon Musk made the bid on Wednesday in a letter to the board of Twitter and it was made public in a regulatory filing on Thursday.(Reuters)
Published on Apr 15, 2022 06:51 AM IST
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Billionaire investor Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter in a $43 billion cash takeover on Wednesday to restore its commitment to what he terms “free speech.” Twitter Inc. chief executive office Parag Agrawal told employees that the board is still evaluating Musk’s offer to take the company private, reported Bloomberg citing people aware of the matter. The report suggests that Agrawal didn’t hint at the inclination of the board, calling it a “rigorous process” to determine the best interest of shareholders.

Does Elon Musk have the funds to buy Twitter?

The Tesla chief executive officer said in his regulatory filing that the offer is subject to “completion of anticipated financing.” During an interview at the TED 2022 conference, Musk noted that he has “sufficient assets” to complete the deal. While Elon Musk is the world’s wealthiest person with a nearly $265 billion fortune, much of his money is tied up in Tesla stock and SpaceX.

Can Musk sell Tesla stock to raise money?

It is unclear how much cash the billionaire has to seal the ambitious deal and selling Tesla stock could hurt its share price. Also, according to a Forbes report, Musk has already used more than half his Tesla shares as loan collateral.

“I do think this will be somewhat painful and I'm not sure that I will actually be able to acquire it," Musk said in his Thursday interview.

Also Read | Twitter CEO tells employees company not 'held hostage' by Musk offer: Report

What changes can Musk bring to Twitter?

The self-described "free speech absolutist" has been critical of the micro-blogging platform and its policies regarding content moderation. He recently ran a Twitter poll asking the users if they believed the company adheres to free speech. On the other hand, he has also called for a crackdown on spam accounts and bots, which implies more moderation. He has indicated his approval of an edit button, a highly-debated feature among users. But trying to predict the plan of the mercurial billionaire might be taking the man too seriously.

What next?

Analysts believe that Twitter may hire bankers and advisers to help it review the deal. According to a Reuters report, the social media company was evaluating the offer with guidance from Goldman Sachs and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The company was also preparing a poison pill against a hostile takeover since Musk hinted at the possibility of bypassing Twitter's board and putting the offer directly to its shareholders, tweeting: "It would be utterly indefensible not to put this offer to a shareholder vote."

(With inputs from AP, Reuters, Bloomberg)

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Sunday, June 26, 2022