Social media giant Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), the subject of much M&A speculation for the past several months, could finally receive official initial takeover bids as early as this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Benioff, whose recent approach to Twitter set off the bidding process, sees the social-media pioneer as an “unpolished jewel” with untapped potential in advertising, e-commerce and other data-rich applications he regards as important to the cloud-software juggernaut’s next phase of growth, [sources] said.
Benioff believes that his company is an ideal suitor, and sees huge growth potential if the execution is right:
According to a person familiar with his thinking, Mr. Benioff is convinced a strong partner could figure out how to better monetize Twitter’s big user base and fire hose of content, something the social-media company has struggled with.
Benioff lost out to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) earlier this year in a bid to buy business social networking giant LinkedIn, and he’ll have plenty of competition in a potential Twitter acquisition as well. Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently hired a consultant to help it evaluate a takeover, and entertainment giant Disney (NYSE:DIS) reportedly is also interested.
Also linked to a Twitter buyout are Microsoft and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), although the former will be busy digesting LinkedIn and the latter has its own issues with its impending Yahoo takeover.
After years of weak performance, Twitter shares surged 20% in a single day last month when a CNBC report claimed that takeover talks were gaining steam.
Twitter shares rose $0.92 (+3.91%) to $24.44 in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, TWTR has gained 1.64%, including a more than 58% rebound since late May fueled by takeover speculation.