Twitter shares surge more than 8% on private equity speculation

Twitter shares jumped by more than 8% in early trading yesterday after a report in The Information said investor Marc Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake have “considered some sort of deal.”

The Information said it did not know if a deal is active now.

Spokespeople for Mr Andreessen and Silver Lake declined to comment to the news site.

Twitter shares rose 8.3% to $18.20 (€16.70) in early trading in New York.

They are still down 65% from a peak last April, valuing the company at about $12.4bn, and making it a less expensive takeover target.

“Twitter has been going nowhere but down,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“It is easy prey for a takeover, and a go-private deal with Silver Lake could be its best bet. Silver Lake is smart, patient money in the IT space.”

Twitter is in the midst of a major overhaul to help boost growth that has stalled.

In January, four executives departed, including the product and engineering chief.

The social media company last week named a new chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland, formerly of American Express, and is expected to appoint two new board members soon.

Twitter has been the subject of takeover rumours in the past, including a fake report attributed to Bloomberg that claimed the company had received an offer to be acquired for $31bn.

Twitter had received bids from Google and Facebook, according to reports.

Two weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp said that rumours about the company’s interest in buying Twitter, or building a stake in it, were untrue.

The social media site was evaluated as a takeover target because of the company’s shrinking stock price.


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