Yesterday we told you that Elon Musk is demanding that Twitter take care of three things before he moves forward with his acquisition of the company. He wants to know how many fake accounts created by bots contain illegitimate Twitter subscribers. The company says that the number of fake users is less than 5% of the total which is a figure heavily rejected by the richest man in the world as being false.
Musk is reportedly unhappy with the structure of his deal to buy Twitter
Musk also is said to be unhappy with the structure of the deal which reportedly includes highly leveraged margin loans that allow him to borrow up to 50% of the value of his Tesla shares. This is a very risky play on Musk’s part because if Tesla stock were to drop in value to the point where the shares being used as collateral for a loan fall below a certain level, Musk would be forced to deposit additional cash in his account or face having his Twitter holdings sold unilaterally.
Twitter’s Board of Directors approves Musk’s deal to buy the company
The third thing that Musk wants to know is whether he has the backing of Twitter shareholders. Not everyone loves him and he has played games before with Tesla stockholders. In August 2018, the multi-billionaire (with a net worth estimated at $213.9 billion), released a tweet to his 22 million Twitter followers saying that he could take Tesla private at $240 a share, a huge premium to Tesla’s shares at the time.
Musk could take a financial hit if he is called to put up more money to meet a margin call
To reduce the risk of receiving a margin call, Elon Musk will need to make a change to how the deal is currently financed. This could be done by reducing the value of the deal. The quickest way this could be accomplished would be for Elon to announce that he was walking away from the deal. Short-seller Hindenburg Research said last month, “If Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter disappeared tomorrow, Twitter’s equity would fall by 50% from current levels. Consequently, we see a significant risk that the deal gets repriced lower.”