Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter may be on its way to being terminated, according to Wedbush analysts. Following Tesla’s brutal beating in the market over the past several weeks since the deal was announced, analyst Dan Ives believes Musk’s concern for Twitter bots, which caused the CEO to announce the deal was “on hold” last week, is just a scapegoat for a potential fallout of the deal. Ives believes there is less than a 50 percent chance Musk ends up purchasing the social media platform.
Musk sold a considerable amount of Tesla holdings to fund some of the acquisition and also has plenty of investors willing to write big cheques to support the buyout. However, Musk’s nearly locked-in funding may not be needed after all as he raised concerns about Twitter’s claims of less than 5 percent of active users being spam/scam accounts. Musk said his team would complete its own analysis, and then reevaluate. It could potentially lead to a re-examination of the deal, as fewer users would significantly change the valuation of Twitter, which Musk and the platform agreed to a massive $44 billion, or $54.20 per share, price tag.
Wedbush does not buy Musk’s concerns regarding bots, and the firm seems to believe Musk may be attempting to backtrack and either rework the deal or leave it altogether.
“Our view is while Musk is committed to the deal the massive pressure on Tesla’s stock since the deal,” Ives said, “a changing stock market/risk environment [over] the last month, and a number of other financing factors has caused Musk to get ‘cold feet’ on the Twitter deal with the bot issue not a new issue and likely more of a scapegoat to push for a lower price.”
Following Musk’s claims that the deal was on hold, he reiterated that he was “still committed” to the acquisition, but was also contacted by Twitter and told he violated a non-disclosure agreement regarding his revealing of details related to his bot concentration experiment.
Musk may know the deal is not worth what he and Twitter agreed to, and since no other bidder has come forward offering the platform more money, the CEO may feel stuck. “And Musk knows that, which is why in a changing market and with Tesla losing ~$300 billion ofsince the deal we view the $44 billion Twitter deal as having less than a 50% [chance] to get done as of today,” Ives said.
Musk will have to pay a $1 billion fee to cancel the acquisition and could face additional legal action from Twitter, which could sue him for damages. Ultimately, the Twitter deal has put so much stress on Tesla stock, that it could be a good idea to consider other options. “Musk is still committed to the deal per his tweets and appears like he wants to get it done, but the financing stress and equity financing overhang on his golden child Tesla has cast a long shadow on this deal,” Ives concluded.
Since the deal was announced on April 25, Tesla shares have sunk from $998.02 to currently trading levels of $742.93, down over 25 percent.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.
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