Late last week we heard that Twitter was starting to receive buyout bids from several tech companies, including Salesforce and Google, and as of today we're learning that two more top contenders for an acquisition deal are Microsoft and possibly Disney. Citing an unnamed source with apparent knowledge of the discussions, CNBC reports that a deal could be struck within 30 to 45 days. As a result, Twitter stock price continues to rise as it began doing sharply last Thursday, trading at $23.25 per share late Monday up from about $18.50 last week.
Bloomberg first reported the Disney news Monday, noting that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is on the board of Disney and saying that multiple people familiar with the discussion report that "Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc." TechCrunch independently verified this as well.
Also, apparently, Salesforce has been working with Bank of America to prepare a formal bid, and as we learned last week Salesforce's "chief digital evangelist" Vala Afshar is pretty in love with the idea.
Microsoft may be stepping in, however, after already beating out Salesforce to acquire LinkedIn earlier this year. And Facebook, which has long been Twitter's primary competitor, is unlikely to be putting in a bid, despite the fact that the company still needs help with disseminating real-time news.
BREAKING: Microsoft seen as possible Twitter bidder, Disney also looking; Facebook not likely interested; sale seen accelerating - sources— CNBC (@CNBC) September 26, 2016
Forbes notes that Twitter's live streaming deals with the NFL and NBA are likely attractive to Disney, but as Recode discussed earlier this month, while an acquisition of Twitter might be highly attractive to an Old Media company like Disney, it comes with a pretty steep price tag for media companies, likely north of $18 billion.
The Verge explains that Disney likely has a strong interest investing in a new media property like Twitter and keeping it out of the hands of competitors, particularly as its cable TV business the biggest piece of the company with properties like ABC and ESPN are losing younger viewers to YouTube and the internet in general. With that in mind, Disney has already invested in properties like Hulu and Vice Media.
Recode reiterates today, however, that Disney is an unlikely buyer, and that looking into a bid is probably as far as this is going to go for them. Speaking to Disney CEO Bob Igor's friendship with Jack Dorsey, the site quips, "If you’re going to spend $18 billion, $20 billion, $30 billion on something, you need a little bit more than 'I like the dude who runs the company.'"