Thursday 22 March 2018

€23bn Twitter flotation brings big payday for 100 Irish staff

SHARES in social media network Twitter soared after its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) yesterday, valuing the loss-making company at around $31bn (€23bn) and ensuring a hefty payday for its 100 employees here in Ireland.

Staff at Dublin's European headquarters of Twitter cracked open a dozen bottles of champagne in a low-key celebration, and watched Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart ring the NYSE's opening bell.

They then listened to a speech from the head of the company's Irish operations, Stephen McIntyre.

Twitter's shares soared as much as 92pc in the hours after they first traded on the NYSE as the company raised around €1.8bn – this means it now has a larger market value than Kellogg and Netflix.

The shares opened at $45.10 a share, up from the Initial Public Offering (IPO) price of $26 set on Wednesday, then added to those gains yesterday afternoon, hitting a high of $51.

Sources said the flotation drew strong demand, with investors asking for 30 times the number of shares on offer as they bet on potential growth.

The opening price valued the shares at about 22 times the forecasted 2014 sales, nearly twice the multiple achieved at Facebook and LinkedIn.

"I guess I represent the poster boy for Twitter," said actor Patrick Stewart, who said he had only been tweeting for about a year and wasn't buying up any of the Twitter shares.

Thomas Molloy

Irish Independent

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