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Are Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed and Steve Ballmer mulling Twitter buy?

Are Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed and Steve Ballmer mulling Twitter buy?

Rumours this week boosted Twitter’s share prices

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Social microblogging site Twitter saw its share prices rise by around 8 per cent on Wednesday following rumours of a takeover by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The rumour about the acquisition came even as Twitter’s stock has continued to decline.

Ballmer announced in October 2015 that he had acquired a 4 per cent stake in Twitter, while Prince Alwaleed doubled his stake in the company last year and now owns over 5 per cent of the company.

Also read: Prince Alwaleed makes $600m from Twitter IPO

However, a senior analyst dismissed the rumour.

Robert Peck, internet equity analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, told CNBC that it was unlikely that Twitter’s board of directors would be willing to sell the company.

Ballmer and Prince Alwaleed were reportedly planning to bid at a price of between $22 and $26 per share for the company.

But Peck said the board is “100 per cent behind CEO Jack Dorsey and his turnaround plans.”

He admitted that a deal in 2017 “wouldn’t surprise” him.

Jack Dorsey took over from CEO Dick Costolo last year after Twitter began to stagnate and failed to continue its growth.

Speaking earlier this year with CNBC following disappointing revenue growth in the first quarter, Dorsey said:

“We’ve never had more focus as a company, as a development team. I want to make sure that Twitter is the place that you check first thing to start your day. It will tell you exactly what’s happening in the world. What’s most important. What matters. And that’s what we’re driving towards, what we’re focused.”

Founded in 2006, Twitter currently has a market cap of around $11.6bn.


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