Report: Salesforce among firms in acquisition talks with Twitter

September 23, 2016

Twitter Inc. shares soared the most in more than two years Friday after CNBC said the company may soon receive a takeover offer.

The beleaguered social media company is engaged in conversations with potential suitors that are said to include Salesforce.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. unit Google, among others, CNBC said without citing its sources. Twitter may get a formal offer shortly, sources told the network’s David Faber.

Indianapolis is a major base of operations for Salesforce, which recently announced a plan to expand its 1,600-person Indiana workforce by 800 employees. It plans to ocupy several floors in the former Chase Tower, which already has been renamed Salesforce Tower.

Shares of Salesforce dropped about 5 percent in trading Friday morning, to $70.71 each.

Speculation that Twitter is ripe for a sale has been swirling for months as the company has failed to lure new users, leading to several quarters of stagnant growth and a plummeting stock. The shares were down almost 20 percent this year before the surge Friday. The stock was up 20 percent to $22.28 at 10:48 a.m. in New York.

Twitter declined to comment on the report.

Microsoft Corp.’s $26.2 billion purchase in June of LinkedIn sparked new conjecture on likely candidates for Twitter. Salesforce, which lost out to Microsoft in the bid for LinkedIn, has remained among those seen as candidates, as has Google.

Vala Afshar, whose LinkedIn profile says he is the chief digital evangelist at Salesforce, put out a tweet after the CNBC report outlining why a suitor might be interested in Twitter.

“Why @Twitter? 1 Personal learning network; 2 the best realtime, context rich news; 3 democratize intelligence; 4 great place to promote others,” the tweet said.

He later tweeted to emphasize that his comments are his own and don’t reflect the official view of Salesforce.


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