Undeterred by hostility from the board of social media giant Twitter in response to his recent purchase bid, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly prepared to invest upwards of $15 billion of his own funds to take the company private and will announce a re-tooled offer within 10 days, according to Fox Business, in a move certain to strike fear in the hearts of Democrats on whose behalf the platform consistently stifles speech.
Musk revealed on Thursday that he has assembled $46.5 billion to facilitate the purchase of Twitter, with banks including Morgan Stanley indicating a willingness to lend $25.5 billion to Musk and another $12.5 billion linked to Tesla’s share value, as NBC News reported. Musk, the outlet noted, would then provide equity financing in the amount of $21 billion.
According to a source who spoke to the New York Post, if the endeavor succeeds, co-investors would end up with more equity in the company than Musk himself, but he would remain the largest single shareholder.
It was the Post that reported late last week that a hostile tender offer will be made directly to shareholders in the company within the next 10 days, a prospect Musk appeared to tease in a weekend tweet referencing 1950s Elvis Presley’s hit song “Love Me Tender.”
Musk was forced to regroup after his prior bid to pay $54.20 per Twitter share was thwarted by the company’s board of directors, who subsequently adopted a so-called “poison pill” approach to stand in the way of his takeover.
In doing so, the board passed a shareholder rights plan permitting board members to buy discounted stock whenever a single individual or entity was to amass at least 15% of the company’s stock, something indicative of the board’s antagonism toward Musk as a potential acquirer, despite the potential for shareholder profit.
According to the Post, given Musk’s mercurial nature and statements in support of unfettered speech, it is not surprising that the current Twitter board, described by the outlet as a “motley mix of tech vets, retail gurus, academics, philanthropists and former governmental officials” deems him a danger.
“They’re a lot more ideological and anemic than your typical Silicon Valley board,” said Kara Frederick of the Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center. Musk’s maneuvers have “expose[d] the board as the censors and ideologues that they really are. Rather than disrupting, they are all about maintaining the status quo as they ignore their fiduciary duties to maximize shareholder value and act with the best interests of Twitter as a company.”
As champions of free speech everywhere continue to cheer Musk’s efforts, it remains to be seen whether his ambitions will prevail. As venture capitalist David Sacks aptly noted last week, “If the game is fair, Elon will buy Twitter. If the game is rigged, there will be some reason why he won’t be able to. We’re about to find out how deep the corruption goes.”