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There’s only one way for Twitter to dodge Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, analyst says

April 21, 2022, 5:21 PM UTC

On Thursday, Elon Musk revealed he has secured $46.5 billion in financing for his Twitter takeover bid. The Tesla CEO also confirmed he is considering making a tender offer for the company, which would allow him to buy shares directly from stockholders. 

Twitter’s board has yet to respond to Musk’s original offer to buy the social media giant for $54.20 a share. But Musk has now received commitments for $25.5 billion in debt financing from Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and a slew of other banks to fund his offer. 

The Tesla CEO also plans to personally commit $21 billion in equity financing if he goes through with the bid. Musk is reportedly worth nearly $250 billion due in large part to his Tesla holdings, but he has only around $3 billion in cash or liquid holdings, according to estimates from Bloomberg.

The billionaire entrepreneur will likely use Tesla stock as collateral in the equity financing portion of the deal, Dan Ives, a tech analyst at the investment firm Wedbush, told Fortune

Ives added that the tender offer is an “alternative way to put pressure on the board” after it enacted a poison pill to ward off Musk’s unwelcome $43 billion “best and final” April 14 offer, and that he suspects a white knight may be Twitter’s only hope of avoiding Musk’s hostile takeover.

“In the next 48 to 72 hours, they are either going to have to officially decline the bid or come up with a second offer,” Ives said.

A white knight is a friendly acquirer that sweeps in at the last moment to prevent a hostile takeover bid. Twitter, however, doesn’t exactly have a huge roster of potential white knights in the waiting. Regulators in Washington are likely to shoot down potential big tech buyers like Amazon or Meta citing antitrust issues, Bloomberg reports.

Elliott Investment Management, a hedge fund which already counts itself as a Twitter shareholder, could be one white knight option. The fund could likely find the cash and has a history of big acquisitions, but it’s already in the process of taking the cloud computing giant Citrix Systems public in a $16.5 billion deal, meaning it might not be looking for another acquisition at the moment.

PayPal is another potential suitor for Twitter. The payments firm already owns the social media company Pinterest, and has been diversifying its business through acquisitions over the past few years.

Oracle might also be able to manage the acquisition. It might seem like an odd move for the software company, but it did try to buy TikTok in 2020 as part of a consortium that included Walmart. For now, though, Twitter doesn’t have an obvious white knight savior on the horizon.
Still, Twitter’s board is likely to reject Musk’s bid sometime in the next week, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. That could mean that if he decides to go ahead with it, Musk’s tender offer would go through direct to shareholders, without the consent of the board of directors.

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