Saturday May 07, 2022
Musk aims to quintuple Twitter’s revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028
Elon Musk. File
Elon Musk is aiming to increase Twitter’s annual revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing a pitch deck presented by the world’s richest man to investors.
Advertising will fall to 45% of total revenue under Musk, down from about 90% in 2020, generating $12 billion in revenue in 2028, while subscriptions are expected to pull in another $10 billion, according to the report.
The head of electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc also aims to increase Twitter’s cash flow to $3.2 billion in 2025 and $9.4 billion in 2028, the newspaper reported, citing the presentation.
Musk clinched a deal last month to buy Twitter for $44 billion in cash, in a move that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the Tesla Inc chief.
The billionaire has promised to revitalise the company and expand the number of users by cracking down on spam bots and reducing the amount of moderation to facilitate more “free speech”.
After the closure of the deal, Musk is expected to become Twitter’s temporary CEO, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
Among his other goals, Musk expects the social media company to bring in $15 million from a payments business in 2023 that will grow to about $1.3 billion by 2028, the NYT cited the document as saying.
Musk anticipates he can increase Twitter’s average revenue per user to $30.22 in 2028 from $24.83 last year, it added. He also expects Twitter to have 11,072 employees by 2025, up from around 7,500.
Revenue from Twitter Blue, the company’s premium subscription service launched last year, is expected to have 69 million users by 2025, the NYT reported.
Musk, in a now deleted tweet last month, suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price.
On Thursday, Musk listed a group of high-profile investors who are ready to provide funding of $7.14 billion for his Twitter bid, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital.
Musk has increased the financing commitment to $27.25 billion, which includes commitments from 19 investors, and reduced a margin loan from Morgan Stanley tied to his Tesla stock to $6.25 billion. He has already secured commitments for $13 billion in loans against Twitter shares.
Musk could not be reached for comment. Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Separately, Elon Musk and Twitter Inc were sued on Friday by a Florida pension fund seeking to stop Musk from completing his $44 billion takeover of the social media company before 2025.
In a proposed class action filed in Delaware Chancery Court, the Orlando Police Pension Fund said Delaware law forbade a quick merger because Musk had agreements with other big Twitter shareholders, including his financial adviser Morgan Stanley and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, to support the buyout.
The fund said those agreements made Musk, who owns 9.6% of Twitter, the effective “owner” of more than 15% of the company’s shares. It said that required delaying the merger by three years unless two-thirds of shares not “owned” by him granted approval.
Morgan Stanley owns about 8.8% of Twitter shares and Dorsey owns 2.4%.
Musk hopes to complete his $54.20 per share Twitter takeover this year, in one of the world’s largest leveraged buyouts.
He also runs electric car company Tesla Inc, leads The Boring Co and SpaceX, and is the world’s richest person according to Forbes magazine.
Twitter and its board, including Dorsey and Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, were also named as defendants.
Twitter declined to comment. Lawyers for Musk and the Florida fund did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit also seeks to declare that Twitter directors breached their fiduciary duties, and recoup legal fees and costs. It did not make clear how shareholders believed they might be harmed if the merger closed on schedule.
On Thursday, Musk said he had raised around $7 billion, including from sovereign wealth funds and friends in Silicon Valley, to help fund a takeover.
Musk had no financing lined up when he announced plans to buy Twitter last month.
Some of the new investors appear to share interests with Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist who could change how the San Francisco-based company moderates content.
Florida’s state pension fund also invests in Twitter, and Governor Ron DeSantis said this week it could make a $15 million to $20 million profit if Musk completed his buyout. In afternoon trading, Twitter shares were down 60 cents at $49.76.
The case is Orlando Police Pension Fund v Twitter Inc et al, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 2022-0396.