Elon Musk has secured more than $7bn (£5.7bn) in funding for his $44bn takeover of Twitter from a group of investors including tech mogul Larry Ellison, the Qatar state investment fund and the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
It came as CNBC reported that Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of Tesla, would serve as the social media platform’s temporary chief executive for a few months once the deal is done. .
Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who initially opposed the takeover, also agreed to roll his $1.9 billion stake into the deal rather than cash it out, according to a filing. with the US financial watchdog.
Musk’s financing plans for the Twitter deal have put pressure on shares of Tesla, the electric car company of which he is the largest shareholder, amid fears he would sell shares to fund the agreed bid. However, the filing released on Thursday also revealed that a margin loan taken out by Musk to fund the deal – secured by his 15.7% stake in Tesla – would be reduced from $12.5 billion to $6.25 billion. of dollars.
“In this high-stakes poker game, the impressive roster of backers will further remove excess Tesla stock as leverage in Musk stock now becomes less onerous,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives. , an American financial services company. Ives added that the report Musk planned to run himself on Twitter appeared to weigh on Tesla shares despite the funding news, with the automaker’s shares falling 7% to $884.56 in post trading. -noon.
According to the filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Ellison is investing $1 billion in the transaction. Ellison, who is worth around $95 billion, made his fortune as the founder of database software company Oracle. A member of Tesla’s board of directors, he was one of the few top tech executives to openly support Donald Trump’s presidency and is said to have hosted a fundraiser for the politician in 2020 at his California estate.
The $7.1 billion fundraiser, plus the Prince Alwaleed deal, means Musk’s personal contribution to the deal’s capital piece could be less than $20 billion, an expert says. Including the margin loan, Musk has now reduced his total financial commitment by nearly $9 billion.
“Elon has reduced its financial commitments, both in direct equity and through personal margin loans, since the announcement of the deal,” said Drew Pascarella, associate professor of finance at Cornell University in the United States. United. “Today’s new third-party capital commitments – totaling $9 billion, including Price Alwaleed’s nearly $1.9 billion capital rollover – bring Elon’s total commitments down to 33.5 billion to $24.6 billion. »
The Tesla chief executive will continue to speak with existing Twitter shareholders, including the company’s co-founder Jack Dorsey, who has the second-largest individual stake in the company after Musk, to bring shares to the company. proposed acquisition, according to the file. Musk owns 9.6% of Twitter.
Alongside Ellison, co-investors include US-based venture fund Sequoia Capital, which has pledged $800 million, and Dubai-based Vy Capital, which has pledged $700 million, according to the filing. the SEC. Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, is investing $375 million as part of the deal, while Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, is contributing $500 million .
Twitter’s current chief executive, Parag Agrawal, has only been in the role for a few months, having taken over from Dorsey last November.