Twitter initiates talks with tech companies over sale: source

Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:52pm EDT
 
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By Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc (TWTR.N: Quote) has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, signaling the start of what is likely to be a slow-rolling auction of the high-profile but money-losing social media company.

A sale of Twitter has been the subject of on-again, off-again rumors for many months as the company grapples with stagnant user growth, soft advertising sales and losses running at hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The company's business struggles have come even as the 10-year-old service has evolved into a potent global source of news, entertainment and social commentary.

CNBC, citing anonymous sources, reported on Friday that Twitter is in talks with companies including Google (GOOGL.O: Quote) and may receive a formal bid soon. A source told Reuters that Salesforce.com CRM.N is also in pursuit.

Twitter and Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company did not respond to a request for comment. Salesforce declined to comment.

Verizon, another company mentioned in media reports on Friday as a possible suitor, said it did not comment on M&A rumors but that it had not submitted a bid for the company.

Twitter shares jumped more than 19 percent to $22.22 per share on Friday, marking the largest one-day rise since their first day of trading in 2013. The company now has a market value of around $16 billion.

Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said Alphabet would be the best acquirer for Twitter since it has not yet been able to crack social media on its own despite several efforts.   Continued...

 
People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in  Warsaw September 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo