Elon Musk Ditches Tesla-Backed Loans As Part of His Twitter Takeover

Elon Musk will no longer use loans backed by Tesla stock as part of his Twitter takeover, instead adding $6.25 billion of personal funding toward the $44 billion deal, according to a new filing with the SEC submitted on Tuesday.Musk’s original proposal included a $12.5 billion margin loan—with his Tesla shares acting as collateral—a decision…

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Elon Musk will no longer use loans backed by Tesla stock as part of his Twitter takeover, instead adding $6.25 billion of personal funding toward the $44 billion deal, according to a new filing with the SEC submitted on Tuesday.

Musk’s original proposal included a $12.5 billion margin loan—with his Tesla shares acting as collateral—a decision that looked increasingly precarious as the electric carmaker’s stock started to tank. He later reduced the loan amount by half before eliminating the remaining balance this week.

Tesla shares have plummeted close to 40 percent over the past six months amid a broader tech downturn, including a 25 percent fall-off over the last month alone.

It remains to be seen whether Musk will actually follow through on the transaction. Earlier this month he abruptly declared that the deal was “temporarily on hold” as he demanded more information about whether Twitter had underestimated the number of spam or fake accounts on its platform.

Musk maintained that he was still committed to the takeover, though he continued to harp on the issue—with scant evidence—suggesting that he was either trying to negotiate a lower price or perhaps back out entirely.

On May 16, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal extensively outlined the company’s approach to fighting spam and estimating illegitimate accounts. Musk responded to the tweets with a poop emoji.

Nonetheless, company executives signaled in a town hall last week that they were not open to renegotiating the price of their agreement, a source who heard the comments confirmed to The Daily Beast. The terms of the deal will make it difficult for Musk to simply walk away. At best, he would likely have to pay a breakup fee of $1 billion, and Twitter could also sue to try to enforce the transaction.

Twitter’s stock rose 4 percent after hours on Wednesday to roughly $39, though it remains far below Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share.

The billionaire is still looking for help to pull off the transaction. According to the new SEC filing, he is discussing possible investments with existing shareholders, including former CEO Jack Dorsey.

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