Musk plans to put up to $15bln of own cash to fund Twitter takeover

New York, April 20 ( /Sputnik) Billionaire businessman Elon Musk is looking to invest up to $15 billion of his money to delist Twitter from the New York Stock Exchange and take it private to pursue his aim of making the social media giant a model of free speech, the New York Post reported, citing sources in the know. Musk, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth some $270 billion, making him potentially the world’s richest person, bought a 9.1% stake in Twitter for about $3 billion two weeks ago and followed that up with a $43 billion offer for the remaining shares which he did not already own in the world-popular microblogging service. Despite his wealth, Musk appeared to be facing difficulty in raising money for the deal, the Post said. It said the billionaire chief executive of electric car-maker Tesla and space travel company Space X was planning to launch a tender offer in about 10 days where Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley could raise a further $10 billion in debt. Several private-equity firms also seem keen in participating in a deal for Twitter, the Post said. Musk declared on Monday that he will not take a penny in salary if appointed to Twitter’s board of directors, unofficially sweetening his takeover bid. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a substantial shareholder in Twitter, has described Musk’s offer of $54.20 for a share of the company versus Tuesday’s traded price of around $46.50, as below value. Twitter’s board is also opposed to Musk’s offer. The company announced on Friday that its board of directors have adopted a shareholder rights plan — or so-called Poison Pill — to reduce the likelihood that any person, entity or group would be able to gain full control over the company without paying a premium. Some analysts who have studied Musk’s bid flag concerns for both sides, saying Musk could revolutionize Twitter’s free-speech model against the will of its board, but also use his influence on the platform to silence criticism against decisions he makes at Tesla and his other businesses. /SPUTNIK GNK

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