While Elon Musk’s massive £35billion purchase of social networking site Twitter appears to be going through, it may not be the only mega-corporation the Space X founder has added to his online shopping basket.
Musk has said – perhaps not entirely seriously – that he’s thinking of buying Coca-Cola, and restoring the world-famous soft drink’s original recipe.
In 1885, when Coca-Cola was originally devised, cocaine was a fairly common ingredient in over-the-counter medicines.
American pharmacist John Pemberton brought together cocaine – in the form of an extract from coca leaves – and caffeine (made from kola nuts) to create his world-beating beverage.
Coca-Cola was originally marketed as a “brain tonic and intellectual beverage,” that cured headaches, upset stomach, and fatigue. At first Pemberton sold it by the glass direct from his pharmacy for five cents a glass.
But over time, the amount of cocaine in the Coca-Cola recipe was steadily reduced from the secret recipe – and finally removed altogether in 1929.
But if we’re to believe Elon Musk it’s coming back. He tweeted on Wednesday: “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in”.
It would be a big ask, even for the richest man in the world. The Coca-Cola corporation is conservatively valued at a whopping $284bn (£226bn). Elon Musk’s current net worth is believed to be in the region of $253bn (£201bn).
A Coca-Cola buy-out would probably be the biggest single business deal in history.
Still, it would be a mistake to rule the Tesla entrepreneur out of the running altogether. After all, he first joked about buying Twitter five years ago and now the deal appears to have gone through.
Way back in 2017, Musk tweeted “I love Twitter,” to which journalist Dave Smith jokingly replied “You should buy it then."
Perhaps jokingly, Musk instantly responded “How much is it?”
There’s still an element of doubt as to whether Musk’s Twitter buy-out will actually be completed.
The famously outspoken tech entrepreneur has put some serious dents in Tesla’s share price over the years with playful online comments but the electric car company’s share price fell by around 20% since Musk first revealed his stake in Twitter, partly because stock market analysts suspect Musk would have to sell a chunk of his stock in order to to fund his new toy.
Various other technical elements might yet put a road-block in front of the Twitter buy-out, but if the sale were to fall through Elon Musk might find he had enough spare change to finance the biggest business deal in history.
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