Twitter wasn’t worth $44 billion before Elon Musk bought it for that price. That’s not an opinion concerning value, but more of a fact, at least as far as markets deliver facts: Since Twitter was a public company, it had a known market value which was pretty far south of Musk’s $44 billion purchase order. (In March, it traded at $32 a share; Musk paid $54.20.)
Of course, that was a Twitter not owned by Elon Musk. A Twitter owned by Elon Musk has a higher value simply by virtue of being Musk-owned. Musk-owned companies tend to do well, and investors like to invest in them.
Still, that is a lot of money to pay — even Musk himself agreed. (He tried, after his initial offer, to reduce the price.) How much money is it? Here is an interesting measuring stick. This week, Forbes came out with its valuation of the National Basketball Association and its franchises, putting the price of the average NBA team at $2.86 billion. (Valuations by Mike Ozanian and Justin Teitelbaum.)
That means that for $44 billion, the price he paid for Twitter, Musk could have purchased about 15 NBA teams — in other words, half of the 30-team league. And he’d have had some money left over, too. You know, to make signs and t-shirts and stuff — and maybe even a new arena or two.
But Musk went with Twitter instead. Which is probably good, because if there’s something less appealing than a whimsical billionaire titan owning the powerful Twitter communications platform, it would be that same man owning half the NBA. Nobody has really owned the NBA like that since Bill Russell and, well, likely best to keep it that way.