Wall Street: Elon’s $13 trillion quagmire

Good morning! I’m Aaron Weinman and on this day last year, Coca-Cola lost $4 billion in value because Cristiano Ronaldo removed Coke bottles from his press table at the European Championships.

Now, let’s get into today’s news.

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1. It’s anyone’s guess whether Elon Musk will buy Twitter. The billionaire agreed to acquire the social-media platform for about $44 billion in April, but acts like he wants to walk away from it as he continues to moan about fake accounts.

Musk’s making an appearance at a Twitter all-hands meeting on Thursday, according to an internal memo viewed by Insider, giving Twitter workers a chance to field questions to the billionaire.

One burning inquiry — and lively point of discourse — surrounds the financing attached to the acquisition. The deal includes Musk’s gargantuan $21 billion equity commitment, and the $12.5 billion margin loan that he secured against his stock in Tesla (and that he’s since paid back).

The last piece of debt is the $13 billion in bridge loans, part of which would be taken off banks’ balance sheets and sold as high-yield bonds or leveraged loans in the capital markets.

Banks that underwrite this stand to pocket millions of dollars in fees each in what’s been an otherwise paltry year for capital-markets dealmaking.

But assuming Musk goes through with a deal for Twitter, this “bridge financing” will not be so easy to offload onto third-party investors like hedge funds, institutional investors, and collateralized loan obligations, the latter being the largest buyer (more than 60 %) of leveraged loans, bankers familiar with the deal told Insider.

Bond and loan investors, above all else, love something Twitter does not have — cash flow. Musk’s lack of a business plan and erratic behavior also has investors spooked, which makes selling this debt a tall order, should that day ever come.

This is one of the reasons why well-known leveraged-finance banks like Credit Suisse, RBC, Deutsche Bank, and Citi passed on underwriting the term loans, the bankers familiar with the transaction said.

Banks don’t want to be left holding onto this debt should the investor community say “thanks, but no thanks.”

You can listen to me talk about this on The Refresh from Insider.

In other news:

Wall Street: Elon's $13 trillion quagmire
Point72’s Denis Dancanet, president of cubist systematic strategiesDot72

2. Denis Dancanet defected to the US via a chess tournament before becoming one of Wall Street’s most-powerful quant execs. He also built two startups, including one that’s constructing flying cars. Dancanet’s story is the latest from Insider’s series that highlights top quants who quit the Street to build something new.

3. Lawyers at Wall Street’s go-to firms are making boatloads of cash. One attorney with “outrageous discretionary spending” told Insider how he allocates his paycheck.

4. Staying with rich folks, these heavy-pocketed people are tackling inflation with bets on music royalties and farms. Four investment strategy heads told Insider what is hot and what’s not for the country’s wealthiest folks.

5. This Wall Street copper is warning about WhatsApp and Signal use. Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, told Bloomberg that banks and hedge funds should monitor these encrypted apps as these messaging services are where his team will look for nefarious activities.

6. Sen. Dan Sullivan will testify about his proposal to stop index fund managers from voting on shareholder proposals. The Republican from Alaska wants these proposals to have explicit consent from the larger institutional investors. The testimony comes as BlackRock and other money managers face heavy criticism from mostly conservatives over their liberal-leaning initiatives around ESG.

7. Thoma Bravo shaved 3% off the price it’s paying for software company Anaplan, the Financial Times reported. In return, the buyout group increased the fee it would pay Anaplan if the deal falls through to $1 billion from $586 million.

8. HSBC could unlock almost $27 billion in value should it split off its Asian business, as a big shareholder has called for. The British bank could spin off its Asian business, or its Hong Kong retail bank through IPOs, according to a report from In Toto Consulting published by Bloomberg.

9. Celsius said it’s pausing account withdrawals and transfers. The crypto lender has doled out more than $8 billion to clients but bitcoin and other digital currencies have nosedived in recent months.

10. Israeli startup Odeeo just scored $9 million in seed funding. Here’s key slides from the deck that helped the mobile game advertiser leverage demand for a segment that could top $6 billion this year.

Done deals:

Event invites: The fourth installment in Insider’s “Financing a Sustainable Future” series is today, June 14 at noon Eastern. This event, in partnership with Bank of America, focuses on corporate governance, perhaps the most difficult measure of ESG reporting. Check out the previous three events and register for today’s event here.

Curated by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? E-mail aweinman@insider.com gold tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.


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