How Will Musk’s Twitter Acquisition Affect His Status as World’s Richest Person?

It’s a questionable investment, as his stake in Tesla has already taken a big hit

Stephen Foerster
6 min readApr 27, 2022

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Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It’s not every day that an investor files a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), indicating they’ve crossed a threshold and now own more than 5 percent of a company, and within three weeks has its bid for the entire company approved by the board of directors. But of course, Elon Musk is no ordinary investor — he’s the richest man in the world. How was he able to pull off his super-fast acquisition of Twitter, Inc? Is it a good investment? And what impact will it have on his overall wealth?

How Much is Musk Worth?

According to Forbes, the day after Musk’s April 25, 2022 bid for Twitter was accepted, Musk’s net worth was $239.2 billion, comfortably number one as the richest person in the world (Jeff Bezos was number two, with a net worth of $165.2 billion). Net worth is the difference between what you own and what you owe.

Musk owns 21 percent of Tesla but has pledged half his stake as collateral for loans (which Forbes discounts in its calculation). Tesla’s market cap is around $906 billion, putting Musk’s share at around $190 billion.

Musk also owns about 50 percent SpaceX. The company was valued as of February 2021 at $74 billion (according to Forbes) and as of October 2021 around $100 billion (Barron’s). The puts Musk’s stake around $50 billion.

Before the full Twitter acquisition, Musk owned 9.1 percent of shares of Twitter. With the agreed value of $44 billion, Musk’s share of Twitter was around $4 billion. Musk is also a founder or co-founder of OpenAi, Neuralink, the Boring Company (a great name for a company involved in tunnel construction!), and Starlink.

How is the Twitter Acquisition Being Financed?

As every accountant will tell you, net worth is not the same as cash. Let’s say your major assets are a car worth $20,000, a house worth $300,000, and other assets (including furniture) worth $30,000. That gives you total assets of $350,000. On the liability side, you have a car loan of $10,000, and a…

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Stephen Foerster

I’m a Finance prof, CFA, and author of In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio (with Andrew Lo). I write stories about investing. (I don’t give financial advice.)