Musk, Twitter Board Sued in Wake of $7 Billion Commitment

Elon Musk revealed on Thursday he has brought in investors willing to supply $7 billion toward his Twitter buyout. On Friday, he and Twitter were sued by a Florida pension fund seeking to prevent the Tesla CEO’s proposed $44 billion takeover. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to roll his existing $1.9 billion stake into a Musk-controlled Twitter. The fresh endorsement reverses the Saudi’s stance last month, when he tweeted “I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @ElonMusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.”

“Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer,” the chairman of state-owned Kingdom Holding Company tweeted on April 14. Alwaleed may still feel $54.20 per share falls short of Twitter’s worth, but if — as  The Wall Street Journal reports — “Musk plans to stage an initial public offering of Twitter in as little as three years of buying it,” the Saudi royal now appears to feel Musk is the one to unlock the company’s real value.

Alwaleed “personally controls a 4.45 percent stake in Twitter and another 0.72 percent” through KHC, according to Fortune. On May 5, the same day an SEC filing listed 19 new investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison (who has agreed to contribute $1 billion), cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and Alwaleed — the Saudi royal tweeted “Great to connect with you my ‘new’ friend @elonmusk. I believe you will be an excellent leader for @Twitter to propel & maximise its great potential.”

On May 6, the Orlando Police Pension Fund sued Musk, Twitter and its board (including CEO Parag Agrawal and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey) in a proposed class action suit in Delaware Chancery Court. The lawsuit claims “Delaware law forbade a quick merger because Musk had agreements with other big Twitter shareholders, including his financial adviser Morgan Stanley” and Dorsey to support the buyout, Yahoo Finance reports.

The lawsuit claims “those agreements made Musk, who owns 9.6 percent of Twitter, the effective ‘owner’ of more than 15 percent of the company’s shares. It suggests the merger must be delayed by three years unless two-thirds of shares not ‘owned’ by him granted approval,” writes CNBC, noting “Morgan Stanley owns about 8.8 percent of Twitter shares and Dorsey owns 2.4 percent.”

“Other investment firms backing Musk’s bid include Qatar Holding, which is contributing $375 million, and Fidelity, which has pledged $316 million,” says CNBC, pointing out that the 19 new commitments “will help Musk to cut the margin loan he has taken from $12.5 billion to $6.25 billion.”

Inside Elon Musk’s Big Plans for Twitter, The New York Times, 5/6/22
Why Musk’s Twitter Bid Has Shaken Tesla Investors, The New York Times, 5/6/22

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