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Matt Levine

Everyone Wanted to Buy Twitter With Elon

Also Credit Suisse, Kim Kardashian and tobacco consulting.

A good starting point for thinking about Elon Musk’s decision to buy Twitter Inc., back in April, is that it did not involve any spreadsheets. Like, when Musk decided to offer $54.20 per share to buy Twitter, that was not based on any detailed financial modeling; Musk’s offers to buy companies are generally pretty whimsical, and 420 is a weed joke. Eventually, as the deal started to go bad, Musk demanded that Twitter send him its bankers’ working financial model, which is pretty unusual in big public mergers and acquisitions, and suggests that Musk might not have had a working model of his own.  Why would he?

Similarly, after Musk announced that he wanted to buy Twitter, he went looking for financing, including equity financing: He wanted other people to invest in the deal alongside him. Last week, an assortment of text messages from Musk’s phone became public as part of the preparation for the trial, later this month, about whether Musk can get out of the deal he signed in April. Some of these texts are Musk’s friends, acquaintances and strangers texting him to say “hey can I invest with you” and Musk saying “I would love that” or “sure whatever” or “no, not you,” as the case may be. The general approach is refreshingly casual. Here are Musk and Larry Ellison on April 20 (the day that Musk delivered his financing commitments to Twitter):