News Corp denies rumors of Twitter bid

Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:06pm EST
 
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By Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said rumors about the company's interest in buying microblogging site Twitter Inc or building a stake in it were untrue.

Twitter's shares, which rose as much as 14 percent on Wednesday, pared some gains and closed up 4.1 percent at $17.38.

The stock rose from a record low after unconfirmed chatter about News Corp's interest in Twitter circulated on Wednesday. The rumors intensified after a CNBC segment, tech website Re/code said.

The social media site was evaluated as a takeover target because of the company's shrinking stock price, Re/code said. (on.recode.net/1QeVuHw)

In the few months since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as the chief executive, Twitter has been trying to make the site more engaging. The company said in December it was testing a feature to show ads to people who read tweets without logging in as it tries to monetize non-active users.

"Twitter inside a larger organization definitely makes theoretical sense, whether its another internet company or a media company," Monness, Crespi, Hardt, & Co Inc analyst James Cakmak said.

A News Corp spokesman said there was no truth to the rumors.

Twitter already has several high-profile investors. Former Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Ballmer reported a 4 percent stake in October, making him the third-biggest shareholder after Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.   Continued...

 
Passers-by walk near the News Corporation building in New York June 28, 2012.  REUTERS/Keith Bedford