Elon Musk’s bid to end the purchase of Twitter Inc.
complicates matters for Ned Segal, CFO of social media, which is struggling with a decline in stock prices and higher costs.
Mr. Musk said Friday that he planned to abandon a $ 44 billion deal signed in April for Twitter because the company had not provided the necessary information to assess the volume of counterfeit accounts on the platform. Twitter is committed to ending the transaction, said board chairman Bret Taylor, adding that the company would pursue legal action to enforce the agreement. Twitter published a letter on Monday, July 10, stating that Mr. Musk’s attempt to scrap the agreement is a rejection of his obligations under the merger agreement.
“The longer this litigation takes place, the more pressure to cut costs, save money and finance the business,”[ads1]; said Justin Patterson, CEO of investment advisory firm KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.
A lawsuit between Twitter and Musk would put more pressure on the company’s stock price. Since the deal was reached in late April, Twitter shares have fallen by about 35%, compared to a decline of about 10% in the S&P 500, as social media companies struggle against a softened digital advertising market.
Twitter performed worst in the S&P 500 on Monday. The company’s shares closed at $ 32.65 on Monday, almost 40% below the $ 54.20 price per share that Mr. Musk agreed to pay.
The company said in April that total costs and expenses, of $ 1.33 billion, rose 35% during the quarter ended March 31 from the same period last year. Advertising revenues increased by 23% to $ 1.1 billion, but could be hit if the economic environment worsens, analysts said.
Mr. Segal, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The banker, who has been in charge of Twitter’s finances since 2017, recently took advantage of low financing costs and raised additional debt. The company said last week that they laid off 30% of the talent acquisition team after saying it would stop hiring in May and look to cut costs. The redundancies are expected to affect fewer than 100 people and are limited to the talent procurement team, Twitter said.
Musk’s attempts to deviate from the deal are not expected to adversely affect Twitter’s capital structure, said Neil Begley, senior vice president of Moody’s. Corp.
an appraisal firm.
The deal was expected to potentially triple Twitter’s influence and add hundreds of millions of dollars in interest. The company would be “better positioned” if the deal was canceled, Mr. Begley added.
Twitter’s cash and cash equivalents fell to $ 2.30 billion during the first quarter of the year, from $ 4.25 billion in the same period last year. Its short-term investments fell by 12.7% during the quarter, to around $ 4 billion, down from $ 4.55 billion a year ago. Twitter had around $ 6.62 billion in total debt at the end of the first quarter, up from $ 5.54 billion at the end of 2021, according to data provider S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Part of the debt is held in the form of convertible bonds and senior banknotes, and Twitter has no upcoming maturity this year or next year, according to S&P. Twitter took on about $ 2.43 billion in extra debt earlier this year, also in the form of convertible bonds, S&P data shows.
S&P Global Ratings said on Thursday that Twitter’s BB + rating, which is below investment level, remains negative on credit monitoring, and that potential lawsuits between the company and Musk give uncertainty surrounding the transaction.
Along with the layoff, Twitter has seen a number of departures from higher-ranking executives, including Bruce Falck, general manager of revenue, and Kayvon Beykpour, general manager of the consumer business.
The recent upheaval is likely to hurt employee morale, which could weaken advertising revenue because employees may be less motivated to pursue new deals, said Mark Mahaney, senior CEO of bank advisory firm Evercore Inc.
“It is all this uncertainty that must be depressing morality. “I’m sure it’s made it harder for them to generate revenue when we’re probably entering an advertising recession,” he said. “I think for the CFO, this must be a nightmare.”
Mr. Musk and Mr. Segal did not respond to a request for comment. Twitter declined to comment.
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