Elon Musk Plans To Rely More Heavily On Equity For Twitter Deal - Fix Bdsthanhhoavn

Elon Musk Plans To Rely More Heavily On Equity For Twitter Deal

Mr. Musk’s funding plan now includes $33.5 billion in equity, up from $27.25 billion, according to a Wednesday regulatory filing. The billionaire Tesla chief executive no longer plans to rely on a margin loan backed by shares of his electric-vehicle company, which are down by about a third since Twitter accepted his bid in late April.

It couldn’t immediately be learned whether the new financing arrangement signaled renewed enthusiasm from Mr. Musk about a deal he recently put into doubt. Mr. Musk said earlier this month that the transaction was “temporarily on hold,” though he later added he was committed to buying Twitter.

The disclosure came hours after Twitter’s chief executive told shareholders the company was proceeding with the deal.

“We are working through this transaction process,” CEO Parag Agrawal said at Twitter’s annual shareholder gathering. “Even as we work toward closing this transaction, our teams and I remain focused on the important work we do every day.”

The company deferred shareholder questions about the transaction, citing plans for a later gathering at which they would be able to vote on the deal that was reached last month.

Twitter shares rose more than 5% in after-hours trading after the regulatory filing detailing Mr. Musk’s updated funding plan was made public. Tesla’s stock retreated about 1% in late trading.

The latest funding details still leave questions about how Mr. Musk would come up with roughly $14 billion of his financing package. Soon after Twitter accepted his bid, he reported selling roughly $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock that he could devote to financing the transaction. And he already owns more than 9% of Twitter, worth roughly $4 billion at $54.20 a share, Mr. Musk’s buyout price.

To help pay for the deal, Mr. Musk disclosed in early May that he had lined up about $7 billion from investors whose participation effectively reduces the personal risk he has to take. The biggest contribution to that package came from Prince al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, who agreed to retain a stake in Twitter valued at $1.9 billion following Mr. Musk’s takeover, according to an earlier regulatory disclosure.

Mr. Musk is continuing to seek additional financing and is in talks with Twitter shareholders, including former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, about potentially retaining their stakes in the company following his takeover, Wednesday’s regulatory filing says.

Mr. Musk said in April that he wasn’t planning to sell additional Tesla shares. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about whether that remains the case.

Since prevailing in his unsolicited takeover bid for Twitter, Mr. Musk has leveled fresh criticism at the social-media platform, particularly over the prevalence of spam accounts and bots. He said he would pause the deal while seeking more information on such accounts. Twitter’s board said it was proceeding with the transaction as agreed.

Twitter said spam accounts make up less than 5% of its total active users. Mr. Musk, who waived due diligence as part of the deal, has questioned that figure and asked for more details.

Egon Durban, co-CEO of private-equity firm Silver Lake and a Twitter board member since 2020, failed to win a majority of shareholder support for a new term in a preliminary tally of votes at Wednesday’s gathering.

Mr. Durban’s nomination ran into opposition from some shareholder advisory groups that argued he was stretched too thin because of his presence on multiple boards. Many investors have their votes follow proxy adviser recommendations automatically. Some big index funds that vote their own shares have also been tightening their guidelines for the maximum number of boards they believe directors should sit on.

A Twitter spokesperson said Mr. Durban has tendered his resignation to the board. The board’s nominating committee will now consider whether to recommend that the board accept it.

Twitter is under no obligation to accept his resignation under existing bylaws, and Silver Lake is entitled to a board seat under the private-equity firm’s agreement with the tech company. Mr. Durban has been part of Twitter’s transaction committee and closely involved in talks between the company and Mr. Musk, according to a person familiar with the matter and a regulatory filing.

Silver Lake declined to comment.

Twitter, rival Snap Inc. and others are dealing with upheaval in the digital ad markets after strong gains during the height of the pandemic. Rising inflation, Russia’s war against Ukraine and other factors have led some ad buyers to curtail spending.

In response to what Mr. Agrawal called worsening economic conditions, Twitter has made several changes in the period since it agreed to Mr. Musk’s takeover deal, including moves to slow hiring and pursue other belt-tightening measures. Snap spooked investors this week when it issued a profit warning, citing economic woes, and similarly said it would slow some staff additions and look to reduce expenditures.

Mr. Musk has said he would look to make Twitter less reliant on ad spending, which currently represents about 90% of its sales.

Separately Wednesday, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission announced an agreement with Twitter that would require it to pay $150 million to settle allegations that it mishandled users’ contact information.

In a release, the government alleged that, from 2013 to 2019, Twitter used phone numbers and email addresses it had collected for purported account-security purposes to help companies send targeted advertisements to consumers. The release said the practice affected more than 140 million Twitter users and violated the FTC Act and a 2011 administrative order the agency issued to Twitter.

The settlement, which still needs to be approved by a judge, also requires Twitter to implement what the government called robust compliance measures to protect users’ data privacy, the statement said.

Twitter said in a blog post that some email addresses and phone numbers may have been misused inadvertently. The issue was fixed in September 2019, Twitter said, adding it was committed to user privacy and security.


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