Salesforce Won’t Bid for Twitter, Saying Two Companies Don’t Fitby
Benioff was pressured by investors not to make an offer
Salesforce was seen as most-likely bidder as others bailed
Salesforce.com Inc. will not bid for Twitter Inc. because the business software company and the social media business would be a poor fit.
Twitter Inc. shares tumbled on the news because Salesforce was one of the last remaining serious bidders. Salesforce stock jumped on relief it won’t spend billions of dollars on a business that some investors considered a departure from its core.
Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff told the Financial Times that Twitter was “not the right fit for us for many different reasons.” A Salesforce spokeswoman confirmed the comments. Twitter declined to comment. Bloomberg News reported last week that Salesforce was unlikely to bid.
The withdrawal of Salesforce, after it earlier expressed interest in exploring an offer, leaves Twitter with few options for a sale. Other suitors, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walt Disney Co., also recently backed out. The FT said Twitter’s advisers are still seeking other potential bidders, citing people familiar with the situation.
Twitter fell as much as 8.5 percent to $16.28. Salesforce shares as much as 6 percent to $74.91.
Investors had pressured the companies considering a takeover to back down, according to people familiar with the matter. At Salesforce’s investor conference earlier this month, investors told executives they weren’t pleased with the notion of a Twitter buyout.
Twitter’s search for a buyer was prompted following several quarters in which sales and user growth slowed. Twitter received interest from one potential acquirer, which led the board to hire Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to pursue a sale in September. Management at Twitter was split on Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey opposed a sale, while co-founder and board member Ev Williams, supported a deal.
If a buyer doesn’t appear, Twitter will to try to appeal to more users through a new strategy that emphasizes live video. The company has been entering partnerships for sports, politics and entertainment content -- such as the National Football League’s Thursday night games -- that it can stream alongside tweets related to the video. It may give people without Twitter accounts a new way to use the service, while allowing the company to share revenue on the video ads.