Elon Musk personally commits additional $6.25bn to Twitter deal

Social media company's shares jump nearly 6% in after-hours trading following news of the financial disclosure

Elon Musk has personally committed $33.5 billion towards his proposed $44bn acquisition of Twitter. Reuters
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Elon Musk, the co-founder and billionaire chief executive of Tesla has secured an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing for his $44bn proposed buyout of microblogging site Twitter.

A new filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows Mr Musk, 50, is now removing a margin loan from Morgan Stanley that he was planning to use to finance the $44bn Twitter deal, making the buyout less risky as it was secured by his Tesla stock.

Tesla's share price has dropped 45 per cent since the start of this year and is down about 40 per cent since Mr Musk first announced his 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter in early April. The company's market value has plunged to $682.52bn as of Wednesday from $1 trillion last October.

Mr Musk has now personally committed a total of $33.5bn to the buyout of Twitter.

Twitter's shares closed about 4 per cent higher at $37.16 at the end of trading in the US on Wednesday, giving the company a market value of $28.4bn. The stock rallied by about 6 per cent in after-hours trading following Mr Musk's disclosure.

Mr Musk had agreed in April to acquire Twitter for $54.20 a share in cash. The microblogging site's share price is down about 13 per cent since the start of this year.

While the deal to buy Twitter is supposed to be finalised by the end of this year, Mr Musk said earlier this month it had been temporarily put on hold pending details on the amount of fake accounts on the social media platform.

He subsequently locked horns publicly with Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal over the company's estimates of spam accounts and said the deal could not move forward unless the company provided proof that less than 5 per cent of its users were fake.

In a regulatory filing this month, Twitter said false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter.

If Mr Musk decides to abandon the agreement, he would have to pay the social media company a $1bn break-up fee.

Mr Musk sold about $8.5bn worth of his shares in Tesla to fund part of his buyout of Twitter. He has secured more than $7.1bn in new equity funding from a group of investors to help finance his acquisition of Twitter.

Eighteen investors have made commitments ranging from $850,000 to $1bn to help Mr Musk finance this deal, according to a previous regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr Musk has previously said he received equity commitment letters from various investors, including Sequoia Capital, Binance, Litani Ventures, Qatar Holdings, Vy Capital, Key Wealth Advisers, Honeycomb Asset Management and Brookfield.

This also includes a $1bn contribution from Larry Ellison, founder of Texas-based technology company Oracle.

In light of his new disclosure, Mr Musk will now either have to sell more Tesla stock or find additional investors to complete his deal.

In April, Twitter reported a surge in first-quarter net income to $513.3 million, from $68m in the same period in 2021, days after it agreed to be sold to Mr Musk.

The billionaire has said he may take Twitter public again within three years after buying it after he finalises the acquisition, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

Updated: May 26, 2022, 9:33 AM
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