Filed Under: Business

Elon Musk ‘overpaying’ to take Twitter private, these 5 went private too

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When a company hits Wall Street by initial public offering (IPO), it is usually seen as a sign of strength. But sometimes, firms go the opposite direction by taking the company private again. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to take Twitter private as part of his $44 billion acquisition of the company. Musk recently said he and the other investors are “overpaying” at $54.20 per share for the social media site, but touted the upside. And oil tycoon Harold Hamm this week agreed to buy out the company he founded, Continental Resources. Hamm has been vocal about his belief that it’s not the best time to be a publicly traded oil company. Here’s what happened when other high profile companies went private in this week’s Five for Friday.

#5. Dell Computers

Dell computers are everywhere. And back in the ’90s when the personal computer was going mainstream, Dell computers were highly coveted. Founded in Michael Dell’s garage, the company sold products directly to consumers. But the market quickly became saturated with competitors, which forced Dell to attempt to diversify. In 2013, the company went private in a leveraged buyout for $24.9 billion. The PC market eventually turned around and Dell went public again in 2018. Dell is still the third largest PC maker behind Lenovo and HP, and just ahead of Apple.

#4. Reader’s Digest

Until 2009, Reader’s Digest was the best selling magazine in the United States. The company went public in 1990 but agreed to a $1.6 billion buyout in 2006, which put it back into private hands. The pint-sized periodical celebrated its 100-year anniversary this year and now falls under the umbrella of Trusted Media Brands, which includes Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Birds and Blooms.

#3. Hilton Hotels

The world’s third largest hotel chain Hilton was taken private by Blackstone in 2007, which made the private equity behemoth the world’s largest hotel operation with holdings of La Quinta Inn and Suites and LXR Hotels and Resorts. Blackstone eventually divested and Hilton went public once again in 2013. As part of that IPO, the company made $2.3 billion, the most ever raised by a hotel chain.

#2. Burger King

America’s fifth largest fast food chain Burger King has been doing the public-private dance for years. Burger King raised $425 million in a 2006 IPO but went private again in 2010 when it was bought for $3.3 billion. It traded private for public one more time in 2012. Burger King is now part of Restaurant Brands International, which formed when BK merged with Canadian donut and coffee chain Tim Hortons. RBI also owns Popeyes, which was part of the great Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019.

#1. Toys R Us

In a time when toy stores dotted the great American landscape, Toys R Us was possibly the biggest name in the business. It was the store to get the hottest toys of the 80s and 90s, like Tickle Me Elmo and Furby. After being public for more than 25 years, Toys R Us was taken private when acquired for $6.6 billion in 2005. The pressure of e-commerce was too much, though, and it filed for bankruptcy in 2017 with nearly $8 billion in debt. There is a comeback in the works with hundreds of Macy’s stores hosting Toys R Us pop-ups this holiday season.

IT’S USUALLY A SIGN OF STRENGTH WHEN A PRIVATE COMPANY GOES PUBLIC, BUT WHAT ABOUT A PUBLIC COMPANY GOING BACK TO PRIVATE? LIKE OILMAN HAROLD HAMM THIS WEEK AGREEING TO BUY OUT THE COMPANY HE FOUNDED, CONTINENTAL RESOURCES. APPARENTLY HE DOESN’T THINK IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE PUBLICLY HELD AS AN OIL COMPANY. WE’VE GOT SOME OF THE MOST HIGH PROFILE COMPANIES TO GO PRIVATE IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

(“DUDE YOU’RE GETTING A DELL”)BACK IN THE NINETIES DELLS WERE BASICALLY A STATUS SYMBOL. FOUNDED IN MICHAEL DELL’S GARAGE, IT SOLD DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS. BUT THE MARKET BECAME SATURATED, DELL TRIED TO DIVERSIFY AND IN 2013 WENT PRIVATE IN A LEVERAGED BUYOUT FOR JUST SHY OF $25 BILLION . THE PC MARKET EVENTUALLY TURNED AROUND AND DELL HIT THE OPEN MARKET AGAIN IN 2018. TODAY, IT’S THE THIRD LARGEST PC MAKER.

UNTIL 2009, READER’S DIGEST WAS THE BEST SELLING MAGAZINE IN THE U-S. THE TINY BOOK HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A HUNDRED YEARS AND WENT PUBLIC IN 1990. BUT IN 2006 IT AGREED TO A $1.6 BILLION DOLLAR BUYOUT. NOW IT FALLS UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF TRUSTED MEDIA BRANDS WHICH INCLUDES TASTE OF HOME, THE FAMILY HANDYMAN, AND BIRDS AND BLOOMS.

THE WORLD’S THIRD LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN HILTON WAS TAKEN PRIVATE IN 2007 BY BLACKSTONE. (“THAT’S HOT”) HUH? THAT MADE THE PRIVATE EQUITY BEHEMOTH THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL OPERATOR WITH HOLDINGS OF LA QUINTA INN AND SUITES AND L-X-R. (“THAT’S HOT”) PARIS C’MON. ALAS, THE COMPANY IPO’D AGAIN IN 2013 AFTER BLACKSTONE DIVESTED. PARIS? (“THAT’S HOT”)

AMERICA’S 5TH LARGEST FAST FOOD CHAIN BURGER KING HAS BEEN ON A PUBLIC-PRIVATE ROLLER COASTER FOR YEARS. IN 2006 IT RAISED $425 MILLION IN AN IPO, ONLY TO GO PRIVATE AGAIN IN 2010 WHEN IT WAS BOUGHT FOR $3.3 BILLION, AND PUBLIC AGAIN IN 2012. IT’S NOW PART OF “RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL” WHICH WAS FORMED WHEN B-K MERGED WITH THE PRIDE OF CANADA, TIM HORTONS.

(“I DON’T WANNA GROW UP, I’M A TOYS R US KID”) OH TOYS R US, IT HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS. IT WAS *THE STORE TO GET THE HOTTEST TOYS. TRUST US, GEN Z, IT WAS. AFTER BEING PUBLIC FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, TOYS R US WAS TAKEN PRIVATE WHEN ACQUIRED FOR $6.6 BILLION IN 2005. THE ECOMMERCE REVOLUTION WAS TOO MUCH AND IT FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY IN 2017 WITH NEARLY $8 BILLION IN DEBT. BUT THERE’S A BIT OF A COMEBACK IN THE WORKS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

IF ELON GETS HIS WAY, TWITTER WILL BE AT THE TOP OF THIS LIST NEXT TIME. THAT’S YOUR FIVE FOR FRIDAY. I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. IT’S JUST BUSINESS.

When a company hits Wall Street by initial public offering (IPO), it is usually seen as a sign of strength. But sometimes, firms go the opposite direction by taking the company private again. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to take Twitter private as part of his $44 billion acquisition of the company. Musk recently said he and the other investors are “overpaying” at $54.20 per share for the social media site, but touted the upside. And oil tycoon Harold Hamm this week agreed to buy out the company he founded, Continental Resources. Hamm has been vocal about his belief that it’s not the best time to be a publicly traded oil company. Here’s what happened when other high profile companies went private in this week’s Five for Friday.

#5. Dell Computers

Dell computers are everywhere. And back in the ’90s when the personal computer was going mainstream, Dell computers were highly coveted. Founded in Michael Dell’s garage, the company sold products directly to consumers. But the market quickly became saturated with competitors, which forced Dell to attempt to diversify. In 2013, the company went private in a leveraged buyout for $24.9 billion. The PC market eventually turned around and Dell went public again in 2018. Dell is still the third largest PC maker behind Lenovo and HP, and just ahead of Apple.

#4. Reader’s Digest

Until 2009, Reader’s Digest was the best selling magazine in the United States. The company went public in 1990 but agreed to a $1.6 billion buyout in 2006, which put it back into private hands. The pint-sized periodical celebrated its 100-year anniversary this year and now falls under the umbrella of Trusted Media Brands, which includes Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Birds and Blooms.

#3. Hilton Hotels

The world’s third largest hotel chain Hilton was taken private by Blackstone in 2007, which made the private equity behemoth the world’s largest hotel operation with holdings of La Quinta Inn and Suites and LXR Hotels and Resorts. Blackstone eventually divested and Hilton went public once again in 2013. As part of that IPO, the company made $2.3 billion, the most ever raised by a hotel chain.

#2. Burger King

America’s fifth largest fast food chain Burger King has been doing the public-private dance for years. Burger King raised $425 million in a 2006 IPO but went private again in 2010 when it was bought for $3.3 billion. It traded private for public one more time in 2012. Burger King is now part of Restaurant Brands International, which formed when BK merged with Canadian donut and coffee chain Tim Hortons. RBI also owns Popeyes, which was part of the great Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019.

#1. Toys R Us

In a time when toy stores dotted the great American landscape, Toys R Us was possibly the biggest name in the business. It was the store to get the hottest toys of the 80s and 90s, like Tickle Me Elmo and Furby. After being public for more than 25 years, Toys R Us was taken private when acquired for $6.6 billion in 2005. The pressure of e-commerce was too much, though, and it filed for bankruptcy in 2017 with nearly $8 billion in debt. There is a comeback in the works with hundreds of Macy’s stores hosting Toys R Us pop-ups this holiday season.

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