Funding secured—no, really, Elon Musk promises, funding secured.
Musk, the guy who once famously joked about privatizing one public company, is working to assure Twitter investors on Monday about his intentions to buy the business. In a new SEC filling, he said he’d finance the $43 billion offer for Twitter through a combination of Morgan Stanley debt and equity financing he’d contribute himself. In all, Musk says, he has lined up $46.5 billion, giving himself a little cushion to work with.
By adopting a poison pill defense last Friday, Twitter’s board has signaled it isn’t much interested in Musk’s proposal. So Musk will need the support of Twitter shareholder if he wants to make this happen.
They’re not sold on it yet either. Twitter stock rose only 0.4% on Thursday to $47.08 a share, considerably less than Musk’s $54.20-a-share offer. The stock has risen since Musk went public with the takeover a week ago, but there has remained a gap between the current share price and Musk’s offer price, a blinking warning light that investors aren’t confident he’ll pull it off. Or maybe they don’t want him. Likely, a combination of both.
It’s important for Musk to win broad shareholder support. The poison pill and the board’s reluctance to engage with him means the next step is a formal tender offer. In such a transaction, Musk will ask shareholders to sell him the shares—to tender them. This move is a longstanding tactic by investors with unsolicited bids facing stiff-armed resistance by the company they hope to buy.
Funding may be secured. But shareholder support? Not so much.