Tech billionaire and free speech advocate Elon Musk has reportedly secured the necessary financing to purchase Twitter, according to a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
In the updated filing published Thursday, Musk announced that he has received commitments for $46.5 billion to help finance the potential deal, primarily through a group of banks led by Morgan Stanley that have committed $25.5 billion in debt financing.
Other participating firms include Bank of America, Barclays, MUFG, Societe Generale, Mizuho Bank and BNP Paribas. To fill out the remaining cost, Musk has committed approximately $21 billion in equity financing.
With the filing, the Tesla CEO and founder signaled that he is continuing to explore a so-called tender offer to counteract the Twitter board’s adoption of a limited-duration shareholder rights plan, commonly known as a “poison pill,” though the world’s richest man has not yet decided whether he will issue the tender offer.
However, the financing itself does not mean that Musk will be able to finalize a tender offer to purchase Twitter, given Twitter’s poison pill defense, which likely necessitates a negotiation between Musk and the company’s board, CNBC’s David Faber warned.
Twitter’s poison pill adoption — which allows shareholders to purchase additional shares at a discount in the event of a takeover attempt, thus diluting the buyer’s overall stake — is aimed at preventing Musk from purchasing Twitter outright.
Musk, who garnered international headlines earlier this month when he purchased enough shares to become Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, went on to make a total buyout offer for the social platform at a price of $43 billion.
Musk had become increasingly critical of the platform’s censorship practices, and many perceived his stock purchases as a way to pressure the company toward improvement. He ramped up that pressure considerably when he offered to purchase the entire company.
Thursday’s SEC filing is the latest move in a dramatic public squabble over the company’s future.
“Twitter has not responded to the Proposal. Given the lack of response by Twitter, [Musk] is exploring whether to commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Common Stock … at a price of $54.20 per share,” the filing states.
Twitter responded to the filing with a statement confirming it has received Musk’s proposal.
“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,” a company spokesperson said, according to CNBC.
In a TED talk in Vancouver, Canada, last week, Musk called Twitter “kind of the de facto town square” and added he believes that as such it is “very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech.”