However, interest rates on loans reflect the risk of not being redeemed. Banks don’t hold onto the loans but sell them to other investors in the market, so if Twitter can’t pay its debts, Musk will either have to pay those investors, perhaps by selling more Tesla shares, or he can give up part of his ownership of Twitter, Which weakens his share.
Tesla’s market capitalization was $902 billion as of Friday, but its shares have fallen about 20 percent since Mr. Musk first revealed, in early April, that he had bought a large stake in Twitter. If Twitter’s finances go south, forcing Musk to sell more Tesla shares to pay off Twitter’s debt or pledge more shares as security for his personal loans, that could put further pressure on Tesla’s share price. Mr. Musk does not receive a salary from Tesla but is paid in shares that are issued based on performance milestones that include the company’s share price.
Since Mr. Musk first disclosed his stake, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen more than 10 percent, making his bid seem even more generous. “It’s a high price tag and shareholders will love it,” Musk said. A message to the Twitter board of directors. Although the social media company’s shares only traded above Mr. Musk’s bid six months ago, they have fallen far from that price early this year and look unlikely to return to those highs anytime soon.
Mr. Musk considered teaming up with investment firms in his bid to buy Twitter, which would reduce the amount of money he would have to invest personally. It could still partner with a business or other investors such as family offices to help raise the money, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
Thoma Bravo, the technology-focused acquisition company, has expressed a willingness to provide some funding, but no decision has yet been made. Apollo, an alternative asset manager, also considered a potential deal in which it would extend a loan on favorable terms.
If the arithmetic of the deal becomes unpalatable to Mr. Musk, he has a way out: a $1 billion breakup fee. For a man with a fortune estimated at over $200 billion, that’s a small price to pay.
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