Could Elon Musk Buy Disney Next? Fans Want to Know

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author
By

Jul. 5 2022, Published 9:48 a.m. ET

Ever since Tesla’s CEO and the world’s richest person Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter, his fans have been speculating about his next move. The rumor mill includes companies as diverse as YouTube and Amazon to as colorful as Pornhub. Some of Musk’s fans are wondering whether he will buy Disney next. Can Musk buy Disney and is he interested in the entertainment company?

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First, we should understand why Musk wants to acquire Twitter, even though the deal has stalled over the number of fake accounts on the microblogging site.

Why Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter

There are multiple reasons why Musk wanted to buy Twitter. First, after the crash, Twitter seemed to offer reasonable value. Twitter has also been facing flak from conservatives over its content moderation policies. Through his social media platform Truth Social, former President Donald Trump is trying to capitalize on the conservative anger over what they feel is the suppression of their voices.

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Musk has also been rediscovering himself politically and has termed himself a “free speech absolutist.” Since platforms like Twitter play a massive role in shaping public opinion, buying the company makes sense for Musk especially as he becomes more active politically. Finally, Musk uses his Twitter account to promote Tesla products. So, buying the platform, which has suspended multiple accounts, would also make business sense.

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How much is Disney worth?

Disney stock recently fell to a 52-week low. Even now, its market cap is around $175 billion. If someone wants to buy Disney, they would need to offer a premium over the current stock prices. Musk offered a significant premium for Twitter, which cajoled the board to agree to his offer despite their initial reluctance.

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Elon Musk can theoretically buy Disney.

Theoretically, Musk can buy Disney. He has a net worth of over $220 billion and the Tesla stake alone is worth over $110 billion. Musk can arrange funding by selling Tesla shares or borrowing against his other holdings. While arranging the money would be a stretch for Musk, it's theoretically possible. This brings us to the final question. Would Musk really want to buy Disney?

Elon Musk might not want to buy Disney.

Unlike Twitter, buying Disney wouldn't make any business sense for Musk. He would find it hard to run the business since it would take a lot of his bandwidth. Musk is already managing multiple companies like Tesla and SpaceX.

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Tesla stock fell after Musk offered to buy Twitter. Some analysts also turned apprehensive about Tesla stock because they believed the Twitter drama would be a distraction. With legacy automakers ramping up production, and Tesla running behind schedule on new products and technologies, the last thing Tesla investors would want is Musk splitting his time between Tesla and Disney.

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Musk has been somewhat critical of Disney, which has faced Republicans' ire over its opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Musk, who has vowed to vote a Republican in 2024, also backed calls from conservatives to strip Disney of the copyright over Mickey Mouse.

In typical Musk way, he called DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) “overzealous” and a “plague on humanity.” But then, Musk has modified his political leanings based on his business interests. Overall, Musk is a smart businessman and might not sell his holdings in companies like Tesla and SpaceX to buy Disney.

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