Tesla traders beware: Elon Musk has slim window to dump extra shares to generate money for Twitter takeover


If you’re a Tesla investor it’s possible you’ll need to assume twice earlier than shopping for extra shares anytime quickly. 

There’s a danger you might unwittingly present CEO Elon Musk with an important rally he can use to promote into as soon as Tesla posts Q3 outcomes on October nineteenth.

In quick, shareholders could possibly be caught holding the bag for a cash-poor billionaire trying to increase cash for his Twitter buy on the fly.

On Tuesday, Musk shocked markets with information he was ready to maneuver ahead with the $44 billion take care of an envisioned deadline of October 28th.

His sudden change of coronary heart preceded the beginning of a five-day trial later this month during which Twitter sued the CEO on the Delaware Court of Chancery to honor his contractual settlement, a lawsuit he was extensively anticipated to lose. 

Between these two key dates in October, there’s now a slim window of time during which the Tesla CEO can increase any remaining portion of the $33.5 billion in equity he has committed to provide and finalize the financing for the $12.5 billion in debt he wants.

Warning from Tesla bull

Future Fund portfolio supervisor Gary Black, a Tesla bull who has been crucial of the Twitter deal for the reason that very starting, warned of promoting strain forward.

Even although he estimates Musk has already liquidated $15.4 billion price of shares in his carmaker, he believes the CEO remains to be on the hook for extra and can be in search of pockets of market power to unload extra inventory onto unwitting traders.

“He still needs to sell $5 billion [in] Tesla equity to fund the deal, but can’t because the Tesla trading window is closed until 10/19,” Black posted on Thursday.

This would come on prime of the estimated $3.6 billion in Twitter inventory Musk already owns and $7.1 billion in exterior funding from rich third-party backers like Saudi Arabia’s Alwaleed bin Talal and Larry Ellison, assuming they don’t renege on their commitment from early May.

If they do, Musk could also be pressured to stump up much more.

Share sale out of the blue

The drawback is arising with that type of money is just not really easy, particularly because the Federal Reserve continues to tighten credit score market situations on the danger of a recession.

Musk’s monumental wealth is essentially tied up in his Tesla stake, the place he’s the biggest single shareholder. To finance his comparatively low-key way of life prior to now, the CEO has resorted to borrowing towards the worth of his inventory to keep away from paying capital features tax.

To finance the Twitter buy, Musk already selected to promote twice into durations of relative power for the Tesla inventory.

The first got here in late April after which he subsequently pledged that no further sales were planned. That dedication lasted roughly three months earlier than he unloaded more shares, as soon as once more with out warning. 

“In the (hopefully unlikely) occasion that Twitter forces this deal to shut *and* some fairness companions don’t come via, you will need to keep away from an emergency sale of Tesla inventory,“ he explained in August after the fact.

Each sale instantly adopted a lock-up interval—first Tesla’s Q1 outcomes after which its shareholder assembly—and every marked a neighborhood prime within the inventory worth at over $300 as soon as adjusted for August’s three-for-one inventory cut up. 

The subsequent such date when Musk can offload extra of his shares, ought to he have to, is straight away following Q3 earnings on October 19th. Bears count on him to do every thing in his energy to drive up the value of Tesla’s shares going into the quarterly report.

Sudden mannequin launch

That’s as a result of the market moved towards Musk this week. 

First, the reveal of the Optimus prototype robotic unveiled final Friday after a six-week delay fell flat, earlier than Q3 deliveries to prospects uncharacteristically got here in need of market estimates.

Together, they despatched the inventory careening to its worst single-day decline in months.

Tesla has misplaced a tenth of its worth since Friday alone and the decrease the value drops, the extra shares Musk might must promote to fulfill any funding commitments.

Enter the Tesla Semi.

After years of ready, Musk introduced late on Thursday the closely delayed mannequin would lastly run off the meeting line. The first vehicles are slated to be shipped to PepsiCo in December, not less than one yr later than deliberate. 

Nate Anderson, head of quick vendor Hindenburg Research, mentioned the information was possible linked to the Twitter deal’s closing. “Fascinating timing on this announcement,” he posted. “I wonder if he may need to sell some Tesla stock in order to raise money for something…”

‘Further mischief and delay’

At current the result of the authorized dispute between Twitter and Musk stays fluid with no indicators the 2 sides are going to cease lawyering up regardless of Musk’s pledge to honor the deal come the top of this month.

The social media platform is cautious after being burned by entrepreneur twice earlier than.

The first time got here when he reneged on a deal to affix the board and as an alternative threatened the Twitter board to crash the inventory worth by promoting his stake if the board didn’t settle for the phrases of his takeover bid.

The second got here when Musk subsequently backed out of the deal in July. 

“Now on the eve of trial, Defendants declare they intend to close after all. ‘Trust us,’ they say, ‘we mean it this time’,” Twitter’s legal team wrote on Thursday.

Musk might additionally escape from the take care of a slap on the wrist have been the six lenders round Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to tug their debt financing.

Musk might doubtlessly exit with solely a $1 billion breakup price, and whereas most specialists have argued the banks have little leeway to take action, Twitter signaled there was no agency dedication but.

“Just this morning, a corporate representative for one of the lending banks testified that Mr. Musk has yet to send them a borrowing notice and has not otherwise communicated to them that he intends to close the transaction, let alone on any particular timeline,” it wrote.

Therefore Musk’s proposal to delay closing till October twenty eighth is little greater than an “invitation to further mischief and delay”, mentioned Twitter, which hopes to carry Musk’s toes to the authorized fireplace to make sure he executes on his dedication.

As lengthy because the social media platform doesn’t belief the capricious CEO, shareholders would possibly need to be cautious in addition to we method Musk’s window that begins with third-quarter earnings. 

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