Content | August 3, 2023
Elon Musk Loses $29bn on Twitter – Here’s What He Could’ve Bought Instead
Since purchasing Twitter back in October 2022, world renowned tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has made major changes to the platform. From the seemingly unclear change in strategy to blue ticks and verification to the sudden rebrand the site is now going through, Twitter (now called “X” as of last month) is a vastly different social media platform compared to what it was just over a year ago, something that has caused major upset among its users and shareholders alike.
Musk bought Twitter for an eye-watering $44bn. According to CBS News, the platform has plummeted in value ever since, dropping by $29bn to now be worth just a small remnant of what it once was (roughly $14bn). Combining this with the fact that some of the site’s top users have posted 25% less on the platform since Musk’s acquisition, and that the rebrand has analysts predicting value to fall by as much as $20bn, things aren’t looking good.
Losing a third of your money is definitely not the sign of a good investment. So, what else could Elon have bought with this flawed venture?
How Elon Musk Could’ve Spent His Twitter Losses
As a business venture, buying Twitter may not have worked out quite as Elon would’ve hoped. In fact, there are numerous businesses he could have picked up with the money he lost; ouch.
In this list of acquirable brands comes some recognisable household names like Panasonic ($28.91bn); Tata Motors, the owner of car brands Jaguar and Land Rover ($28.61bn); H&M ($27.31bn); Vodafone ($26.75bn); and even eBay for $26.71bn.
Owner of Tesla, Elon already has a strong presence within the motoring industry. But, if he wanted to expand his manufacturing and design facilities even further, he could have acquired South Korean car brand, Kia, for $25.98bn.
In recent weeks, Twitter’s nemesis, Meta, launched a direct competitor to Twitter in the guise of Threads. Although criticised for being strikingly similar to Twitter, users have flocked to the platform and given praise for its simplicity and strict policies toward content. Elon has shared his thoughts on the matter in the most Elon way possible: with a sarcastic, indirect Tweet.
As a sign of what could’ve been, we can determine just how much of Meta Musk could have acquired with some quick calculations.
At approximately $294 a share, $29bn would purchase approximately 98.5m shares. With 2.21bn class A (publicly traded) shares up for grabs, this would grant Musk with a 4.44% stake in Meta, making him the 5th largest shareholder in the business. If he were to invest the $44bn he spent on Twitter into Meta instead, he would become the 3rd biggest shareholder with a 6.7% stake.
For the current teams on the Formula 1 grid, Elon Musk could’ve made some major gains while still having money left over.
Combined, each Formula 1 team is worth $13.5bn. This means that Elon could’ve bought every single team, and had enough money left over to start his own Formula One grid.
Looking at the top 10 Football clubs as sorted by net worth, Elon couldn’t have made as conclusive an acquisition as he would have with Formula 1, but it’s still fascinating to see what could have been.
With the $29bn he lost, Musk could have bought the top five most expensive football teams in the world, including the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City.
Moving onto the world of American sports, Elon has yet even more acquisitions to make with the money he has lost off Twitter.
Unfortunately, $29bn isn’t quite enough to buy every single NFL team. Though, that money could be used to buy the top seven most expensive teams, including: Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, all with $1.8bn left over.
However, if Musk hadn’t bought Twitter, he most certainly could have used the $44bn he spent in order to buy every single NFL team while leaving $6.5bn on the table – enough for him to pick up Manchester United to help diversify his investments.
Looking at NBA teams, we really start to see the net worth valuations increasing.
So much so that Elon couldn’t have bought every single team in our top 10, but could comfortably purchase the top three teams while having $19.43bn left in the bank. With that money, he could’ve bought a fourth team, the New York Giants, more than three times over.
While these findings are mind blowing in isolation, they are even more shocking when tallied together.
Buying the most expensive F1, Football, NBA and NFL teams would cost $21.02bn, leaving Musk with enough money to buy each piece of the world’s most expensive jewellery, with enough left over to buy the seven most expensive works of art ever sold.
As we focus less on sports, we move towards one of the more sound investments one can make in life: real estate.
Though, in this scenario, the investments are much larger in nature. Looking at the top 10 most expensive buildings in the world, only one of which stands outside of Elon’s grasp. That building being the Masjid Al-Haram, Saudi Arabia; the Great Mosque of Mecca. Although such buildings are practically priceless, estimations place this building at an eye-watering $100bn plus.
Though, if Elon were to purchase a Saudi Arabian building, his next option is one that’s firmly within his grasp. The Abraj Al-Bait, also known as the Clock Towers, is a Skyscraper hotel complex that’s owned by the Saudi Arabian government, and valued at $16bn.
At that rate, Elon could pick up the Clock Towers, as well as the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California – both of which are valued at $5.7bn and $5.5bn respectively, leaving him with $1.8bn left over.
Furthermore, with the $29bn he has lost on Twitter, Musk could own seven World Trade Centres.
We looked at one hotel in the previous section, but, as all celebrities love their travel, we’d assume Elon would be curious to know how his finances would fare if invested into these types of destinations.
Speaking of the previously mentioned Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore; at a value of $5.7bn, Musk would be the proud owner of just over five of them. Or, if diversification was the goal, he could comfortably purchase seven out of the 10 hotels we selected, including the likes of Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Wynn Palace, China; Resorts World, Sentosa; and The Venetian Macao, China, with $2.2bn left over.
We know that Elon Musk has an affinity for Las Vegas. Around mid-2023, he won an appeal to build a 69-station-long underground tunnel to be used exclusively by Tesla drivers to help get around the city that never sleeps. With such an investment already underway, how else could he expand his Vegas venture?
Looking at 11 of the most expensive buildings in Las Vegas, we see that Musk could acquire every single one of them while still having some spare change to the tune of $890m.
This list includes some iconic buildings, like The Mirage; MGM Grand; The Venetian; Red Rock Casino; and The Bellagio to name a few.
Closing out our list, we look toward some luxury purchases the Twitter giant could have made. First up is jewellery, and on our list sits some of the most revered pieces across the globe like the Oppenheimer Blue diamond ring; a De Grisogono necklace featuring 163-carat emerald cut diamond; the Winston Pink Legacy diamond; as well as Queen Marie Antoinette’s pearl and diamond pendant.
Elon Musk could have comfortably bought every single one of our nine selected pieces together 85 times. If we get a bit closer to specific items, he could have bought the most expensive piece of jewellery ever sold (the Oppenheimer Blue diamond ring) 503 times; or the Henckel von Donnersmarck Tiara 2,301 times.
Although not an art collector, Elon Musk could build quite the collection with his losses.
As before, we selected 10 of the most expensive art pieces ever sold, tallying a total cost of $2.34bn. At that rate, Elon could buy each piece together, 12 times over.
In our list are works from all the greatest artists of our time. Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, for example, could be in Musk’s hands 64 times over, while Pablo Picasso’s Le Rêve, could be bought 187 times.
Delta Airlines is regarded the most expensive airline with a net worth of $21.81bn. If using the money Musk invested into Twitter ($44bn), he could buy both Delta Airlines and Southwest, two of the most expensive airlines in the world, with enough money left over to buy the Washington Commanders NFL team.
For our final category, we looked at something that every millionaire aspires to own: a superyacht.
With the $29bn he has lost, Elon Musk could buy 10 of the most expensive Superyachts in the world, plus all of the jewellery and art pieces we covered previously, while leaving $16.13bn left in the bank. With that money, Musk could buy every single Formula 1 team, and the He Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, with a comfortable $233,700 left behind.
Our Research Rationale
The data from this story was compiled via publicly available sources and websites.
Musk bought Twitter for $44bn in October 2022, and in May 2023 CBS News reported that its value had decreased by $29bn.
Luxury Columnist was used to analyse the most expensive buildings, AS for airlines, and Luxury Travel Expert for hotels. Love Money also compiled a list of America’s most expensive buildings, which featured the buildings used for the ‘Vegas’ category.
All of the businesses that were looked at were featured in Companies Market Cap, and these values were correct on the 25th July 2023.
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