Elon Musk Twitter takeover gets a little more real, seeks 'negotiations immediately'
There's a new SEC filing today that breaks down Musk's $46.5 billion in funding for the Twitter buyout
Elon Musk continues to pursue a Twitter takeover, and today a new US Security and Exchange Commission filing revealed how he intends to buy the social media platform and move beyond his existing 9.2% stake in the company.
Musk is offering $46.5 billion for Twitter, something the Twitter board has reportedly but not officially rejected, though it has set up a “poison pill” defensive measure to block Musk from owning more than 15% of Twitter.
$25.5 billion of that money will come from a pair of bank loans from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and others, according to the SEC filing today, the first one worth $13 billion and a second separate debt commitment worth $12.5 billion. Although not listed in the SEC filing, other participating firms include Bank of America, Barclays, MUFG, Societe Generale, Mizuho Bank and BNP Paribas, according to CNBC.
The remaining $21 billion needed to buy Twitter will come from Musk himself. He’s the CEO of Tesla and the founder and CEO of Space X and the world’s richest man. But most of his money is tied up in Telsa stock, which necessitates the loan (or outside investors, which so far hasn’t materialized).
Musk wants ‘negotiations immediately’
More interesting than Musk’s financial breakdown for attempting to buy Twitter is the line: “The Reporting Person [Musk] is seeking to negotiate a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Twitter by the Reporting Person and is prepared to begin such negotiations immediately.”
Not everyone took Musk’s bid for Twitter seriously due to his meme-fueled trolling and 420 jokes about taking over the social media platform. But the SEC filings today tees up where he’ll source the money to buy Twitter and the language suggests that he’s not waiting for the Twitter board to skirt the issue.
Musk’s stated desire is to bring more “freedom of speech” to Twitter, which he views as a public square where censorship of ideas shouldn’t exist. Right now there’s a lot of debate about how much moderation is too much on all social media platforms.
Musk’s desire for a digital free speech utopia doesn’t seem to include incessant bot armies where scripted replies SPAM and scam users. He’s recently decried as a problem on Twitter – and it’s true: just check out my PS5 restock Twitter tracker replies just to see how much Twitter management has failed to protect users from PS5 restock scams; it’s not doing a good job there.
Other ideas being pushed by Musk include a Twitter edit button (though that has already been in development and coming soon to Twitter Blue, according to Twitter) and a Verified status for all users willing to pony up $2.99 a month for Twitter Blue (Musk has clarified this so-far-theoretical Verified status would be different from the blue checkmark reserved for political figures, media members, sports stars, etc).
The two-week-old back-and-forth saga will likely end when the world’s richest man either owns Twitter or setups up his own Twitter rival. He’s hinted at a Plan B, but has so far refused to discuss what that entails.
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