Elon Musk References 1989 Bestseller On RJR Nabisco Leveraged Buyout; Is He Closing In On Twitter Buy?


Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk made overtures toward Twitter, Inc. TWTR, which expectedly was met with resistance from Twitter’s board. Since then, Musk has been posting cryptic tweets, suggesting he could become belligerent.

What Happened: The Tesla CEO tweeted late Friday “The Barbarians are at the Gate,” which to some might suggest gibberish. “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco” is a 1989 bestseller which chronicled the leveraged buyout (LBO) of tobacco and food giant RJR Nabisco, and was written by investigative journalists Bryan Burrough and John Helyar.

Private-equity fund KKR & Co. Inc. KKR bought out RJR Nabisco for $25 billion in the largest LBO in history. The deal was done following a protracted takeover battle between KKR and the company’s management. It was the first time KKR went ahead with a takeover without the concurrence of the company’s management.

What is best in life?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2022

Related Link: Does Elon Musk’s About-Face On Twitter Portend ‘Game Of Thrones’ Battle Ahead?

Why it’s Important: In an amendment to the 13D form filed with the SEC on Thursday, Musk said he has received commitment letters for up to $46.5 billion of debt financing from a consortium of investment banks, including Morgan Stanley. An equity commitment letter from Musk himself was also attached as part of the filing.

Twitter for its part adopted a poison pill after Musk’s disclosure of his intent to take the company private. Reports suggested PE firm Thoma Bravo could table a competing bid, although neither the PE firm nor Twitter have confirmed any proposal as yet.

Musk has previously conveyed through a few cryptic tweets that he might go in for a tender offer, taking the fight directly to shareholders. Twitter closed Friday’s session 3.93% higher at $48.93, according to BenzingaPro data.

Photo: Adapted from image from Daniel Oberhaus on Flickr