Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly willing to boost his investment into social media platform Twitter to as high as $15 billion while continuing to look for financial backers who could help perform a traditional buyout. Musk’s $43 billion bid to take over Twitter last week was effectively stagnated as the company announced its intentions to use a “poison pill” to foil the Tesla CEO’s bid.
The New York Post said in a report citing two people close to the situation that Musk is willing to invest between $10 billion and $15 billion of his own money to take Twitter private. Musk, who disclosed ownership in Twitter in a filing with the SEC earlier this month, has a 9.1 percent ownership stake in the platform, which is worth $3.4 billion currently. He is the largest individual shareholder of Twitter, as Vanguard overtook Musk as the largest shareholder of the social media platform on April 8.
Musk is also considering bringing on partners and may use other strategies to up his offer to buy Twitter. The CEO “may also be willing to borrow against his current stake” in the company, which could add several billion dollars to his offer. Other strategies include combining cash with co-investors, which would establish “a giant cash equity infusion,” making the bid near impossible to decline. However, the report states that some investors appear to be hesitant to move into the deal because of “his pattern of unpredictable behavior and taste for controversy.”
“The co-investors will combined have more equity than Musk, but he will be the biggest single holder,” one of the sources said in the report. Sources also said Musk had tapped Morgan Stanley to raise an additional $10 billion in debt against Twitter to perform a traditional leveraged buyout.
About $20 billion, the bulk of the money, will come from co-investors who will finance a tender offer directly to Twitter shareholders, the New York Post reported last week. Musk may have hinted at this over the weekend when he randomly Tweeted the name of a mid-1960s hit from Elvis Presley.
🎶 Love Me Tender 🎶
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2022
The tender offer could come in the next ten days as a rough estimate, the sources said. However, the report said Musk is having trouble finding private equity firms to back the bid, as they would rather stay away from possible political controversies and are perhaps shying away from their inability to control Musk, who is the world’s richest person with a net worth of over $273 billion, according to Forbes.
Musk’s potential Twitter takeover has highlighted the CEO’s focus on the crucial nature of free speech. Musk, during a TED Talk interview last week, said the buyout attempt was inspired by the need for an “inclusive arena for free speech.”
“The civilizational risk is decreased more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform,” he added.
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