Elon Musk now has access to the funds he’d need to buy Twitter. According to an SEC filing, Musk has received “commitment letters” that would supply about $46.5 billion to buy all of Twitter’s outstanding common stock and take control. The Tesla CEO is “exploring” this tender offer following a lack of response from Twitter, the filing reads.
We’ve asked Twitter for comment. While the company hasn’t directly addressed Musk’s offer, initially pegged at $43 billion, it recently approved a temporary “poison pill” measure intended to discourage hostile takeovers. The plan would let some shareholders buy more stock if anyone buys more than 15 percent of outstanding stock without the board of directors’ approval, diluting the value of Musk’s stake. He’s already the largest individual shareholder with 9.2 percent ownership.
Musk made the offer claiming that it was meant to protect free speech, and has suggested he could unlock Twitter’s potential with features like an edit button (which Twitter was already working on) and an open source algorithm. However, it also comes as the executive fights the SEC over alleged finance rule violations that frequently relate to his tweets. The entrepreneur has multiple strong incentives to purchase Twitter, and the financial backing illustrates just how serious he is.
Update 4/21 11:28AM ET: A Twitter spokesperson tells Engadget the company has received Musk’s updated proposal, but that it’s still conducting a “careful, comprehensive and deliberate review” of the offer. You can read the full statement below.
“We are in receipt of the updated, non-binding proposal from Elon Musk, which provides additional information regarding the original proposal and new information on potential financing. As previously announced and communicated to Mr. Musk directly, the Board is committed to conducting a careful, comprehensive and deliberate review to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders.”