Twitter in possible US$30 billion sale, suitors said to include Google

Twitter in possible US$30 billion sale, suitors said to include Google

Twitter shares surged Friday after sources said the ailing social media company moved closer to being sold.

The sources said the company has received expressions of interest from several technology or media companies and may receive a formal bid shortly.

The potential suitors include Google and, among other technology companies, sources said.

Shares of Twitter rose more than 21 per cent Friday. While it is difficult to determine the value of such a distant potential deal, sources have told CNBC it could sell for around US$26 (S$34.34) per share, about US$3.50 higher than Friday's close. Other reports put a total bid in range from US$18 billion to US$30 billion total, as reported by Recode.

Twitter's board of directors is said to be largely desirous of a deal, according to people close to the situation, but no sale is imminent. There's no assurance a deal will materialize, but one source close to the conversations said that they are picking up momentum and could result in a deal before year-end.

Suitors are said to be interested as much in the data that Twitter generates as its place as a media company. Salesforce declined to comment to CNBC and other companies did not immediately provide a comment.

But's chief digital evangelist, Vala Afshar, tweeted his personal views about Twitter after the report.

It comes after a Wall Street Journal report earlier this year indicated that Salesforce would have bid for fellow social network LinkedIn, which later reached a deal with Microsoft.

Salesforce's stock was down 5.6 per cent on Friday. Google's share price was flat.

Before the report about the talks surfaced, RBC tech analyst Mark Mahaneydowngraded Twitter to underperform from market perform on Friday, predicting a 25 per cent drop in the stock because of weak ad revenue. In its most recent quarterly report, it posted its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013 and issued a lackluster outlook.

A look into Twitter's Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore

- Reporting by David Faber. CNBC's Peter Schacknow and Reuters contributed to this report.

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