Twitter Takeover Deal: How Elon Musk Plans to Pay $44 Billion to Acquire Twitter by October 28


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Elon Musk bought himself some time on Thursday, after a judge accepted the billionaire’s request to halt a Twitter lawsuit to allow him to close his proposed $44 billion ((roughly Rs. 3,62,500 crore) buyout of the social media company by October 28.

Now comes the big question: how will he pay for it?

Musk said earlier this week he would buy Twitter for $54.20 (roughly Rs. 4,320) per share, the price that was agreed in April, but included a condition that the closing of the deal be contingent on debt financing for the transaction coming through.

What is his financing plan?

Musk has pledged to provide $46.5 billion (roughly Rs. 3,83,100 crore) in equity and debt financing for the acquisition, which covers the $44 billion price tag and closing costs. Banks, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, committed to provide $13 billion (roughly Rs. 1,07,106 crore) of debt financing to support the deal.

Twitter on Thursday cited one of the banks as saying that Musk had not communicated to them that he intends to close the transaction. Musk said that banks were “working cooperatively to fund the close” on or around October 28.

Musk’s $33.5 billion (roughly Rs. 2,76,000 crore) equity commitment would include his 9.6 percent Twitter stake, which is worth $4 billion (roughly Rs. 33,000 crore), and the $7.1 billion (roughly Rs. 58,500 crore) he secured from equity investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

That leaves Musk needing to secure an additional $22.4 billion (roughly Rs. 1,84,500 crore) of funds to cover the equity financing portion of the deal.

How much does he have?

Musk, 51, is the world’s richest person with a net worth of $219 billion (roughly Rs. 18,00,000 crore) according to Forbes, but a large portion of his fortune is tied to his stakes in Tesla and Space X.

According to a Reuters calculation, Musk has about $20 billion (roughly Rs. 1,65,000 crore) of cash after selling down part of his Tesla stake through multiple transactions in November and December last year and April and August this year. This means he would need to raise an additional $2 billion (roughly Rs. 16,500 crore) to $3 billion (roughly Rs. 24,250 crore), even if the other equity and debt commitments are honored.

How can he fill the equity shortfall?

He can either choose to sell down more of his stake in Tesla, or his stake in SpaceX. Other options include obtaining a loan from banks against the stocks, or getting more investors to contribute equity.

In August, Musk said he does not plan to sell down his stake in Tesla any further, but the latest U-turn from Musk has revived concerns over whether he will sell more of the electric-vehicle maker’s stock to fund the deal.

Musk owned 465 million Tesla shares worth $111 billion (roughly Rs. 9,15,000 crore) following its 3-for-1 stock split, according to Reuters’ calculation. He has already borrowed heavily against a big portion of his Tesla stake.

Does he have enough equity investors?

On April 20, Oracle founder Larry Ellison said he was interested in participating in the deal as one of the investors in Twitter.

Ellison is among a group of investors who have collectively promised to chip in $7.1 billion of financing for the deal. So far, no investors have publicly said they would back away from their commitments.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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