Salesforce may be the only bidder left in race to acquire Twitter

6 Oct 2016

If Salesforce is the last remaining bidder, Twitter wants the deal concluded by 27 October ahead of its Q3 results. Image: Anthony Correia/Shutterstock

Reports implying that Google, Apple and Disney will not be bidding for Twitter leaves Salesforce as the only horse left in the race.

Emerging reports that suggest Salesforce is the only remaining potential bidder has Twitter anxious to conclude an acquisition this month.

Speculation began back in June that the Twitter bird was being fattened up for market. In recent weeks, a bidding war was indeed underway, with Marc Benioff’s Salesforce on the verge of making a formal bid for the social networking site.

Twitter, which has a loyal and substantial user base of around 140m daily users and 313m average monthly active users, is regarded as one of the doyens of social media. However, it has struggled financially and has been under shareholder scrutiny since it made a public float three years ago.

At the time, potential bidders for the company included Google, Microsoft and Salesforce, with other reports suggesting Apple may be interested.

Twitter anxious to be acquired before 27 October

Citing sources, Recode last night reported that Google will not be making a bid and that Apple was an unlikely suitor.

Recode also claimed that Disney will not be bidding for the company, leaving Salesforce with no competition. It had been suggested that Disney was mulling over a new digital distribution channel, as its strength in TV was wavering.

Reuters reported that Twitter has told potential acquirers that it wants to conclude negotiations by 27 October, the day before it announces its third-quarter earnings.

The tight timeline, almost unheard of in M&A discussions, indicates that CEO Jack Dorsey wants to reassure shareholders and employees.

Salesforce, one of the pioneers of cloud-based software as a service (SaaS), is a hugely ambitious company that is razor-focused on changing the workplace dynamic.

The company has been investing heavily in creating new ways for employees to collaborate.

But crucially, when it comes to analytics and data science, the busy flow of social media traffic on Twitter presents a glittering price in terms of mining for business intelligence as well as adding new capabilities to the Salesforce stockpile.

Twitter NYSE. Image: Anthony Correia/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years