Elon Musk is trying to cut back on costly unsecured loans tied to his $44 billion Twitter purchase by selling $3 billion worth of Twitter shares, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. But despite what Musk has said recently about his “track record” of raising money, the paper claims investors aren’t immediately getting in line to grab the pieces of Twitter he’s offering.
Sources tell the WSJ that in December, the billionaire’s team sent out emails to potential investors trying to raise $3 billion to pay off “an unsecured portion” of Twitter’s $13 billion debt with the highest interest rate. The WSJ reports some backers “balked at the terms” due to the state of Twitter’s finances but also notes it couldn’t determine the current state of fundraising talks.
Fidelity, an investment firm that supported Musk’s Twitter acquisition, cut the value of its stake in Twitter from $53.47 million in October to $23.46 million in November, representing a 56 percent dip.
When asked on Twitter whether the WSJ’s report is accurate, Musk answered simply, “No.”
In sharp contrast to the reports, Musk has boasted about his ability to secure strong investments during his securities fraud trial. Testifying on Tuesday, the billionaire bragged that it’s “relatively easy” for him to secure investments:
Every time we’ve raised money, it has been at a higher price. So investors have done extremely well. That is why it is relatively easy for me to get investor support because my track record is extremely good... It is accurate to say that I probably have the best track record with investors.
Fittingly, the trial centers around Musk’s notorious 2018 tweet that said he had the “funding secured” to take Tesla private. Messages revealed as part of the lawsuit suggest that Musk eventually became frustrated with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — one of the investors Musk claims promised to provide Tesla with funding — after it didn’t vouch for his statement.
Shortly after taking over the platform in November, Musk complained about losing $4 million per day and didn’t rule out the possibility of bankruptcy.
With Musk offering Twitter shares at $54.20 per share, it’s no wonder investors aren’t biting. That’s how much Musk paid to acquire Twitter in a deal he spent months in court trying to back out of. The CEO even admitted that he’s “obviously overpaying” for Twitter during an earnings call last October. And that was before Musk started pushing away advertisers, banning journalists, and bulldozing third-party Twitter clients.
Still, if you’d like to help out the former world’s richest man and you can’t afford to spend $250,000 on ad space and enable a free matching deal or to purchase a few thousand shares of Twitter at Elon’s price, there’s always the annual Twitter Blue subscription for $84.
Correction January 25th, 10:14PM ET: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated Musk was offering Tesla shares at $54.20 per share when it was Twitter. We regret the error.