Elon Musk’s efforts to secure new financing that will limit his cash contribution for his planned acquisition of social media platform Twitter has reportedly been put on hold. The update was related by individuals reportedly familiar with the matter.
Musk and the Twitter Board have already agreed to a $44 billion buyout at $54.20 per share. However, this was before the Tesla CEO brought up issues about Twitter’s estimate that less than 5% of its users are bots or fake accounts. Musk’s concerns were so evident that his lawyers sent a letter to Twitter stating that the CEO may walk away from the deal unless more data on the platform’s bots are provided.
During an appearance at the All-In Summit, Musk compared his concerns about Twitter’s bots with those faced by buyers who are looking to purchase a house. “If you said, ‘Okay, I’m going to agree to buy your house’.’ You say the house has less than 5% termites. That’s an acceptable number. But if it turns out the right percent is 90% termites, that’s not okay,” Musk said.
According to a Reuters report, Musk has been in discussions to arrange about $2 billion to $3 billion in preferred equity financing from firms led by Apollo Global Management Inc. This financing is reportedly designed to further reduce Musk’s cash contribution for Twitter’s buyout. According to the publication’s sources, these conversations are now on hold.
Reuters‘ sources further noted that Musk’s uncertainties about the Twitter deal had affected the plans of banks that are involved in the deal. The banks had reportedly planned to get about $13 billion worth of debt that has been committed to the acquisition off their books through syndication. Due to Musk’s reservations, the banks are reportedly looking to wait until there’s more clarity on the deal before launching the process.
The halt in the deal’s financing efforts suggests that Musk’s concerns about Twitter’s bot users are interfering with steps that would ultimately help complete the social media platform’s buyout. Twitter, for its part, has maintained that Musk has been performing his obligation under their contract. This includes efforts to help secure regulatory approval for the acquisition deal.
In a statement on Monday, Twitter noted that it has been cooperatively sharing information with Elon Musk “in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.” The social media company also stated that the acquisition is “in the best interest of all shareholders.” “We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms,” Twitter noted.
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