Twitter Sale In Jeopardy As Potential Bidders Flee

Twitter_logo_blueIt appears that the planned sale of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) may be in jeopardy. Twitter has been the subject of merger and acquisitions rumors for weeks. Twitter wanted any deliberations on a sale to conclude by the time it reported third-quarter results on Oct. 27. The company planned to hold a board meeting with outside advisers on Friday to discuss a sale, but that meeting was abruptly canceled.

Speculated front-runner Salesforce.com Inc. may be shying away from a deal. Analysts and investors have raised concerns that buying Twitter could severely affect the cloud software maker’s market value. During a Salesforce investor conference last week, some investors reportedly said that they were not pleased with the idea of purchasing Twitter. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in an interview that Twitter had “severe problems” and wished Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey well.

It was reported over the weekend that other possible bidders were stepping back, although no bona fide buyout offers have materialized. Disney, Google and Apple were all said to be unlikely to enter the race to acquire Twitter. Disney had reportedly worked with banks on the potential acquisition. Sources close to the situation say multiple other parties were interested in Twitter, but it is unclear who they are.

Twitter co-founder Dorsey returned to the company as interim CEO in July 2015 and became permanent chief executive last October. Since his return, the company has been signing deals with a number of media companies and sports organizations to stream major events, like the presidential debates and Thursday Night NFL games. There was a 15 percent to 20 percent uptick in megabyte per user on Twitter following the Twitter’s NFL live stream deal, according to App Annie. The interest in the games seems to be down slightly amid election news, but Twitter keeps making headlines as presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both tweet on the site.

The company has suffered from tepid growth for several consecutive quarters. Twitter said it had an average of 313 million monthly users in the second quarter. The company has reported substantial losses in the last five years. Last year, the company lost $521 million on revenue of $2.22 billion.

The stock has lost nearly a quarter of its value since Dorsey took over as permanent CEO and has shed more than 26 percent in the past week. On Monday, the stock was the lowest in more than two months, putting its market value at $12.18 billion, compared with almost $53 billion in December 2013 at its peak.



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