Twitter sale could happen in October

Twitter has given possible buyers an October 27 deadline to announce a sale, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the deal.

Potential acquirers include Salesforce.com, Google parent Alphabet and Walt Disney Co., according to Reuters.

Salesforce — which sells cloud-based sales, marketing and customer service software to large businesses — could turn Twitter’s focus to customer support or mine data for business intelligence, while Alphabet may want Twitter’s social and news capabilities, Reuters suggested.

Disney might use Twitter to distribute video streaming to a global audience, giving the media powerhouse a new channel for sports, news and entertainment. Twitter said in July that mobile video would help it attract more users and advertisers.

Salesforce doesn’t comment on rumors and Twitter “doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation,” each company said in separate emails. Google and Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Rumors of a potential buyout have swirled for almost a year after Twitter reported three consecutive quarters of zero user growth. In July, the company told investors it’s having trouble competing for advertising dollars. The string of bad news made Twitter a more affordable acquisition target as investors abandoned the company. In February, its market value dropped to less than $10 billion, an all-time low.

The latest report comes one day after major Twitter investor Chris Sacca said he’s been selling his stock and wants the social network to be acquired.

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Major Twitter investor Chris Sacca says he’s sold some Twitter stock and thinks the social network is ripe for sale.

Byron Purvis/AdMedia

“I’ve definitely sold some Twitter shares,” Sacca told Bloomberg TV Tuesday. “I don’t own as many as I used to because I’m not an idiot, but I own more than I should because I’m an idiot.”

Sacca made his comments more than a year after he fired off a series of tweets suggesting Twitter name co-founder Jack Dorsey CEO, a post he held from 2006 to 2008. Sacca even went so far as to write an 8,500-word open letter to the social network. Dorsey retook the reins a year ago today.

Twitter’s shares closed Wednesday at $24.87, for a $17.3 billion market cap. Sacca said he doesn’t see a buyer shelling out more than the current stock price.

“I don’t see how it gets materially better over the next two years without fresh blood,” Sacca said. “I literally should go to a Twitter therapist, just the 10 years of stress and trauma with this company.”

Sacca didn’t respond to CNET’s requests for comment.

First published October 4, 4:19 p.m. PT.
Update, October 5 at 4:25 p.m. PT: Adds Reuters report Twitter wants to announce the sale on October 27.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. PT: Adds statements from Twitter and Salesforce.

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6 October 2016 | 2:42 am – Source: cnet.com

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