The iconic U.S. Steel, renowned as the world’s inaugural billion-dollar enterprise, has reentered the market for potential buyers. This follows the company’s recent refusal of a takeover offer from a rival steel producer. U.S. Steel’s historical significance lies in its pivotal role in shaping America’s infrastructure, contributing to the construction of railways and skyscrapers, albeit accompanied by a perceived overreach into politics and the economy. Presently, U.S. Steel lacks the fervor it once enjoyed on Wall Street, as evidenced by the modest $7.3 billion buyout proposal it declined. Nevertheless, the company has now revealed that it is considering multiple unsolicited offers.
Who might be interested in acquiring U.S. Steel? The apparent candidates may not be familiar to you. (Ever heard of Esmark Inc.?) However, there’s another possibility gaining traction on the internet: Elon Musk, as suggested by a circulating theory.
Let’s address this upfront: U.S. Steel is traded using the single-letter stock symbol “X,” placing it within an exclusive group of public companies that includes well-known names like Ford (“F”), AT&T (“T”), Citigroup (“C”), and Visa (“V”). To reiterate what’s now quite evident, Elon Musk has openly expressed his affinity for the letter X. In the last year, he stated, “Acquiring Twitter would fuel the creation of X, the all-encompassing app.” In April of this year, a federal filing disclosed that Twitter Inc. had undergone a merger and was now part of a company simply referred to as X Corp. Notably, Musk’s space enterprise bears the name SpaceX, and he and his former partner Grimes have a child with the legal name X Æ A-Xii. Beyond the Twitter rebranding as X, Musk has also been in possession of the domain X.com since at least 1999, a time when his vision was to transform X into the world’s pioneering “all-encompassing bank.” Subsequently, X.com merged with PayPal, where Musk took on the role of CEO, only to be removed from the position after his insistence on renaming the company as—you guessed it—X.
The origins of his fixation on the letter X remain a matter of speculation, though any conjecture you entertain might benefit from embracing a playfully simplistic perspective. Three other characters that Musk particularly favors are S, 3, and Y—these three form a trio that conveniently allows Tesla’s quartet of vehicle models to be S, 3, X, Y, which amusingly spells out “SEXY.” This would have indeed spelled “SEXY” if not for Ford’s legal action aimed at preventing Tesla from using the letter E. (Ford holds rights to E as a model name due to concerns that it closely resembles “Model T.”) At the time, Musk humorously lamented that Ford was effectively “putting an end to SEX.”
Musk’s evident distaste for external control over his cherished letters is undeniable. Could this inclination lead him to acquire U.S. Steel, aiming to exert influence over the symbol “X” on the New York Stock Exchange? Perhaps, envisioning a future scenario, he might create a publicly traded entity that he could ingeniously transform into an expansive conglomerate specializing in a range of endeavors. This hypothetical conglomerate could encompass the production of vehicles like S, 3, X, and Y, launching significant rockets into space, deploying satellites into orbit, and even delving into subterranean tunneling projects.
Among Elon Musk’s online supporters, there appears to be a prevailing belief that he might indeed consider such a move. Since Sunday, they have been buzzing with anticipation over the possibility of his acquisition of a significant steel corporation.
Yet, even individuals with a more reasoned perspective and a solid understanding of the steel sector are asserting that the concept is not entirely implausible.
U.S. Steel’s reentry into the market for buyers after rejecting a takeover offer has sparked speculation. Elon Musk’s potential involvement, driven by his affinity for the letter ‘X,’ adds intrigue. The prospect of reshaping industries under his ‘X’ vision remains a captivating possibility.