Saudi prince, Larry Ellison and others pony up $7bn to back Musk’s bid to acquire Twitter

A poison pill and $44bn are not enough to stand in the way of Elon Musk’s quest to take social media giant Twitter private. Now other businesses and personalities have joined his capital raise. As Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover nears a conclusion, the ever-controversial South African-born entrepreneur’s quest for free speech saw him sell a stake in Tesla. Twitter has been known to censor content deemed dangerous by the company and has been criticised for its left-wing bias. Despite the Twitter board’s attempt to prevent Musk from gaining a leading stake in the company by adopting a poison pill, which would dilute the Tesla CEO’s position, they eventually relinquished their opposition after Musk presented his financial plan for the company. However, many of the employees at Twitter seem to be resistant to the takeover; one executive, Vijaya Gadde – who earned a mind-boggling $17m in 2021 – reportedly burst into tears in a meeting about the future of the company. This comes as Musk looks to reduce executive salaries and cut jobs of Twitter management. Musk has gained further funding for his acquisition of Twitter by taking loans out against his most successful venture, Tesla, as well as paying a portion out of pocket and gathering capital from other investors who believe in the democratization of the platform. More in this article from The Wall Street Journal. – Ross Sinclair

Use Spotify? Access BizNews podcasts here.

Use Apple Podcasts? Access BizNews podcasts here.

Elon Musk Gets $7 Billion in Fresh Financing for Twitter Deal

A Saudi prince, Larry Ellison and a bitcoin exchange are among a group of 19 investors who have committed more than $7 billion to back the Tesla CEO’s bid for Twitter

By Will Feuer

Elon Musk has assembled a group of investors including a Saudi prince, Larry Ellison and a bitcoin exchange to pony up more than $7 billion to back his bid to buy Twitter Inc.

Tesla Inc.’s chief executive has received letters committing about $7.14 billion from a group of 19 investors. The biggest contribution comes from Prince al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, who agreed to retain his nearly $1.9 billion stake in Twitter following Mr. Musk’s takeover, the disclosure said.

The new money will cut in half the amount Mr. Musk needs to borrow against his Tesla stake, and will slightly reduce the balance of cash he needs to put up personally, to just under $20 billion.

Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison, who sits on Tesla’s board, agreed to put in $1 billion. Cryptocurrency exchange, controlled by billionaire developer Changpeng Zhao, promised $500 million. Other contributors include $850 million from venture capital stalwarts Sequoia Capital. Arms of asset managers Fidelity Investments and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. BAM  will also take part.

Binance said its involvement is “as a supporter of Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter and an investor,” a spokesman said. Mr. Zhao tweeted that the investment was “a small contribution to the cause.”

Mr. Musk said he is in talks to bring more current Twitter shareholders, including co-founder Jack Dorsey, into the company after the buyout. Mr. Musk has told potential investors in Twitter that he could return the company to public markets after a few years of ownership, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

By assembling a roster of big money backers, Mr. Musk will effectively reduce the amount of risk he has to personally take to close the $44 billion deal. The world’s richest man, by some measures, Mr. Musk leveraged a wide network of associates to come on board for his plans.

He has said that he wants the social-media company to be less censorious in content moderation, but has otherwise given few details about his exact plans. At one point he said he doesn’t care whether he makes money on the deal. Mr. Musk has a history of missing his timelines and targets at Tesla, the electric-car company.

Twitter shares jumped 2% in premarket trading to around $49, edging toward Mr. Musk’s $54.20 a share offer price. The closer the stock gets to the offer price, the higher likelihood that investors put on the deal going through.

As a result of the new financing commitments, Mr. Musk said the $12.5 billion margin loan he had received to buy Twitter has been reduced to $6.25 billion and the takeover will be financed now by $27.25 billion in equity and cash.

Mr. Musk’s heavy borrowing against his shares has weighed on Tesla’s stock in recent weeks. The shares were flat in premarket trading.

Other prominent backers of the deal include Dubai-based investment firm VyCapital, which is on the hook for $700 million, and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has thrown in $400 million.

Qatar Holding LLC, founded in 2006 by the Qatar Investment Authority, has also pitched in $375 million and Aliya Capital Partners LLC, run by Chief Executive Ari Shrage, has committed $360 million.

Other new financiers of the deal include familiar faces in Mr. Musk’s past. Bamco Inc., founded by prominent Tesla investor Ron Baron, has committed $100 million. Draper Fisher Jurvetson, SpaceX board member Steve Jurvetson’s former venture capital firm, has committed another $100 million.

Capital LLC and Witkoff Capital are also backers.

Tech-focused financial adviser Key Wealth Advisors LLC, private-equity firm A.M. Management & Consulting and Chicago-based Litani Ventures, which is the family office of RXBAR founder Peter Rahal, are also coming in on the deal.

Other companies listed are Peter Avellone-founded Cartenna Capital LP, which committed $8.5 million, and David Fiszel-founded Honeycomb Asset Management LP, which threw in $5 million.

Caitlin Ostroff and Patricia Kowsmann contributed to this article.

Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]

(Visited 683 times, 2 visits today)