Just when you thought that the Elon Musk Twitter takeover deal was all done and dusted, yet another potential loophole has been uncovered still lurking in the mix.
According to a new report from Insider, many of Musk’s equity partners, who agreed to back Musk’s original $44 billion offer for the company, are now seeking to exit the deal, rather than paying their share of the deal price.
As per investor Andrea Walne from Manhattan Venture Partners:
“Everyone's trying to get out of it, no one thinks the company should be valued at $44 billion.”
And she’s probably right. Given Musk’s repeated public trashing of the company, followed by his own efforts to wriggle out of the deal (which could still see Twitter take Musk to court), Musk is now looking at potentially overpaying for a company that he himself has essentially tanked the value of.
Twitter’s current market cap is $38.52 billion, but some analysts have it much lower than that, even down in the $10-$12 billion range.
As he’s sought to exit the Twitter deal, Musk has made or amplified significant claims around the platform’s bot problems, staff and board issues, security flaws and much more.
That could well mean that Twitter isn’t worth the $44 billion that Musk is scheduled to pay – and with no clear plan for how he’s going to re-build the app’s reputation, and get many more people tweeting, you can imagine that many of his equity partners are re-checking their math, and questioning whether there’s any way that they might be able to exit the process.
Which, there actually may not be.
According to Insider:
“Musk's equity co-investors are obligated to provide the funds in the amounts promised, subject to essentially the same conditions under which Musk himself is obligated to fund the Twitter acquisition. However, the commitment letters the co-investors signed allow Musk, in his discretion, to reduce the investor's obligation.”
So Musk can let them off the hook, even entirely if he wants. But would he do that?
The bottom line is that there is a scenario where Musk is forced to let his investors out of the deal, which would then leave him short in his funding for his takeover bid.
Which could still see Musk get out of paying up. Elon would still have to pay the much-discussed $1 billion break-up fee, which would be a solid consolation prize for the Twitter folk left to pick-up the pieces.
But there is still a possibility that Elon Musk could get out of his $44 billion Twitter bid, if he wants to go that route.
In response to Insider’s report, Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro, said that the vast majority of Musk’s equity investors have been spoken to and are ‘all in’.
So it may just be another small hiccup. Or maybe, we’re not done with the drama just yet.