No one knows for sure what Elon Musk has planned for his new $44-billion toy, a.k.a. Twitter.
But according to Reuters, citing “three people familiar with the matter,” Musk told his bankers that he may “crack down on executive and board pay at the social media company in a push to slash costs.”
He’s also considering “new ways to monetize tweets,” which could mean anything from increased ad sales to charging subscription fees.
Bloomberg News, meanwhile, reported that Musk specifically mentioned job cuts to his bankers, although he reportedly said no final decisions will be made until he takes control of Twitter later this year.
Again, no one knows for sure what Musk may or may not do after the deal closes. But this week’s reports indicate he’s very mindful of how much he’s spending — and how he might recoup his massive investment.
According to terms of the acquisition, Musk will borrow $13 billion from banks and another $12.5 billion using his Tesla shares as collateral.
He’ll also come up with as much as $21 billion in cash.
When all is said and done, as CNBC put it, Musk will be “the most indebted CEO in America.”
And Twitter will be saddled with a mountain of IOUs.
The company held over $4.2 billion in long-term debt at the end of last year. Thanks to Musk’s bank loans, Twitter’s financial obligations will soar to more than $20 billion.
Musk, in turn, as the guy in charge, will have to seek new ways to significantly boost the social-media platform’s revenue and keep both creditors and shareholders happy.
Hence the reports of salary and job cuts, as well as new ways to leverage Twitter’s nearly 230 million users as a money-making resource.
According to regulatory filings, Musk sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares this week to help fund the takeover. That’s a start.
Where he’ll find the remaining $12.5 billion of the cash component of his offer remains to be seen.
And how he’ll reduce Twitter’s soon-to-be Mt. Everest of debt will be the next rabbit he has to pull out of a hat.
Stir it all together and, yes, spending cuts seem in the cards. Then we’ll see what other tricks Musk has up his sleeve.