Thursday 27 October 2016

Twitter shares rise after Google takeover reports

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 09/04/2015 | 02:30

Twitter declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.
Twitter declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.

Twitter shares rose by almost 4pc yesterday on the back of reports that it had rebuffed a takeover attempt from Google.

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Two companies have recently approached Twitter with "serious" interest, according to a report from financial website, which identified Google as one of the two firms.

Twitter, which has just over 200 employees at its European headquarters in Dublin, declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.

A spokeswoman for Google, which also has its European base in Dublin and employs 2,500 people in Ireland, said that Google "does not comment on rumour or speculation".

Shares in Twitter jumped by 4.8pc on Tuesday the back of reports the US company had hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to fend off approaches.

Goldman Sachs has declined to comment on the rumours.

Twitter's stock ended at US$52.87 per share, up more than 45pc so far this year and near a 52-week high for the company.

Twitter's options were unusually active on Tuesday with total volume of more than 250,000 contracts, or twice the average daily volume, according to Trade Alert data.

Google launched its own social network, Google+, in 2011. However, despite racking up around 300 million monthly active users, it has struggled against rivals such as Facebook and buying Twitter could jumpstart Google's social network ambitions.

Rumours that Google is interested in buying Twitter, which has almost 300 million monthly active users. have circulated for years.

In February 2011, there were reports claiming that Google, Facebook and several others had held takeover talks with Twitter for around $10bn.

The tech giant was also reportedly in late stage talks to buy Twitter in 2009 for around $250m.

Twitter is now far more valuable, with revenues of over $1bn and a market capitalisation of more than $34bn.

For Google to buy Twitter now it would likely have to pay a healthy premium over and above the current market value, which would put it in the region of $50bn.

However, with Google reported to be sitting on a 55bn cash pile, this is a deal that it could potentially afford.

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