2016 is poised to be a big year for tech giant mergers
On Friday, CNBC reported that Twitter is speaking with a number of potential buyers, including Google and Salesforce. The seriousness of these talks has led to a significant stock surge for Twitter, which saw its stock price rise by a high of nearly 23% during morning trading.
But, as anyone who has been following Twitter’s woes over the past year knows, Twitter is bargaining in a place of weakness. In October, it laid off 8% of staff, largely from the tech giant’s failure to monetize through advertising, and a number of key executives have left the company this year. Before Friday, the company’s stock had fallen more than 60% over the past 5 years, enraging investors so much that one is suing Twitter for misleading its stockholders about its growth prospects.
Its potential buyers are largely interested in Twitter’s data and prominence as a media company. As Vala Afshar, Salesforce’s chief digital evangelist, suitably expressed on Twitter, the tech titan’s worth can be summed up in four main points:
1 personal learning network
2 the best realtime, context rich news
3 democratize intelligence
4 great place to promote others
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) September 23, 2016
Even though Facebook has beaten Twitter in almost every respect, including advertising revenue and user growth, Twitter does still reign supreme as a news hub. Facebook’s attempt at “Trending” was a passable effort at best and since it abandoned human moderation, performance has been abysmal. At TechCrunch Disrupt 2016 in San Francisco, the head of Facebook’s News Feed admitted that there was room for improvement. In the meantime, this gives Twitter a slight edge in a potential acquisition agreement.
If Twitter end ups being purchased, it will be the third major buyout of a tech giant this year. First, Microsoft bought LinkedIn in June for $26.2 billion and then Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.8 billion in July (though Yahoo’s recent hack could complicate this deal, which took place in 2014 but on which Verizon has received few details).
While there is no information about how much Twitter’s potential buyers are willing to pay for the media company, Twitter’s current market capitalization ($15.57 billion as of this writing) is about $1 billion less than LinkedIn’s was when LinkedIn was acquired, which was $16.81 billion. Considering LinkedIn’s buyout was considered a bargain at $26.2 billion, and Twitter has been faltering for years, it would be hard to see Twitter getting sold for more than this amount.
Since this is a developing story, we will update information here.