Thursday 21 September 2017

Irish staff benefit in €12bn Twitter flotation

Adrian Weckler Technology Editor

UP TO 100 Irish Twitter employees will benefit from the company's US stock market flotation, which was announced this week.

The social media giant, which has almost one million registered Irish users and more than 200 million active global users, is being tipped to float at between €20 and €25 per share, which would give it a market valuation of around €12bn.

This would net some Dublin-based Twitter employees bonuses based on equity incentives included as part of their remuneration packages.

However, a spokesman for the company declined to comment further on remuneration levels of Twitter employees.

According to the online research firm eMarketer, Twitter's revenue for 2013 will amount to $580m (€440m), while its 2014 revenue will exceed $900m.

Twitter's IPO announcement came in a week where Facebook's share price rose to a new high of $45 per share, above the $38 level it launched at last year. Twitter employs 3,000 people worldwide, more than 100 of whom are located in its Dublin offices.

Twitter's shares have been trading at between $27 (€20) and $29 (€22) on the 'grey market' in the last 24 hours.

With an estimated 528 million diluted shares, this places the company's pre-IPO valuation at roughly $15bn.

Twitter makes money from advertising via so-called promoted tweets, promoted trends or promoted accounts. Advertisers can purchase a prominent spot in users' Twitter streams, either through the placement of individual tweets (messages), trends or placements in Twitter searches.

The financial research firm PrivCo estimates that Twitter will choose the New York Stock Exchange rather than the Nasdaq Exchange.

PrivCo also believes that the company will set an initial valuation of $15bn.

The current trading level has been adopted as a guide for the firm's IPO price, with bookmaker Paddy Power setting narrow odds on an initial valuation of between $25 and $30 per share.

Meanwhile, analysts have been cautiously optimistic about Twitter's prospects in a post-IPO era, with some arguing that it is entering an expanding online advertising market.

Critics say that Twitter has more limited advertising revenues than rivals Google or Facebook, but Twitter is believed to have a higher advertising hit rate than either of its biggest rivals.

Irish Independent

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