Elon Musk Seeks Additional Funds for Twitter

Elon Musk Seeks Additional Funds for Twitter

Elon Musk’s

team has reached out for potential fresh investment for Twitter Inc. at the same price as the original $44 billion deal, according to one shareholder who said he was contacted about the proposal.

Ross Gerber,

president and CEO at Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, said a representative for Mr. Musk contacted him about offering more shares Thursday.

Mr. Gerber said his firm had previously put up less than $1 million to back Mr. Musk’s takeover of Twitter, which was completed in late October at a price of $54.20 per share.

Semafor earlier reported the new outreach to investors.

Elon Musk has warned of dire financial challenges facing Twitter, the social media company he took over for $44 billion in October. WSJ’s Mark Maurer explains how the company is trying to fix its finances and avoid a potential bankruptcy. Photo Illustration: Laura Kammermann

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Additional equity investments would likely dilute existing Twitter shareholders. The potential extent of the dilution from the latest fundraising effort couldn’t immediately be determined.

Mr. Musk this week sold more than $3.5 billion worth of

Tesla Inc.

TSLA -4.72%

stock. It was his second round of sales since buying Twitter Inc. Mr. Musk sold nearly 22 million Tesla shares over a three-day period ended Dec. 14, according to a regulatory disclosure made public Wednesday.

Mr. Musk’s ownership of Twitter has gotten off to a tumultuous start. Last month, Mr. Musk said Twitter had suffered “a massive drop in revenue” and was losing $4 million a day. He later invoked the specter of bankruptcy.

As part of the acquisition, Twitter took on around $13 billion in debt. That could leave the social-media company owing annual interest payments of more than $1 billion, analysts have estimated, compared with around $51 million in 2021.

Mr. Musk’s focus on Twitter has irritated some Tesla investors as the company tracks for its worst annual stock-price performance on record.

Mr. Gerber said he was reviewing the proposal, but had some questions about how Twitter was being run. Those include how long Mr. Musk intended to act as chief executive and any transition plan, he added. 

Last month, Mr. Musk said he expects to find someone else to run Twitter, without giving a specific timeline for when the appointment might happen. 

Twitter has been in turmoil since Elon Musk took over. To get a sense of what’s going on behind the scenes, The Wall Street Journal spoke with former Tesla and SpaceX employees to better understand how Musk leads companies. Illustration: Ryan Trefes

Mr. Gerber, who also is an investor in Mr. Musk-run electric car maker Tesla Inc., said he wasn’t concerned about how Twitter is doing so far, but said he wanted more communication. “I think they just need to be clear with everybody about what’s going on. Not just with Twitter, but Tesla,” he said.

Several Tesla investors, including Mr. Gerber, have expressed frustration recently that Mr. Musk’s involvement in Twitter might be to the detriment of the auto maker. Tesla’s stock is down more than 57% this year. 

Mr. Musk on Friday tweeted that “Tesla is executing better than ever” and that he had earlier that day gone over production progress at the company’s plant in Texas.

Write to Alexa Corse at alexa.corse@wsj.com

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Appeared in the December 17, 2022, print edition as ‘Musk Seeks Additional Funds for Twitter.’

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