Target to open small-format store in Midtown Detroit

Twitter sale almost dead as suitors bow out

Alex Sherman, Sarah Frier and Brian Womack
Bloomberg

Twitter Inc.’s sales process is almost dead, as top bidders lose interest amid pressure from their investors, according to people familiar with the matter.

Twitter once saw interest from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Salesforce.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co., all of which consulted with banks on whether to acquire the social-media company. Now all of those suitors are unlikely to make a bid, the people said. On Friday, Twitter had planned to have a board meeting with outside advisers on a sale but canceled, one of the people said.

At Salesforce’s investor conference last week, several investors talked to Chief Financial Officer Mark Hawkins and other executives about how they weren’t pleased with the idea of a Twitter buyout, according to another person familiar with the matter. They made their feelings known during small huddles near the stage and other areas around the meeting room. High-profile investors also e-mailed Hawkins, who forwarded the messages to his CEO and the board.

Chi Hea Cho, spokeswoman for Salesforce, said the company doesn’t comment on rumors. Representatives for Twitter, Google and Disney declined to comment. All of the suitors, especially Salesforce, have seen their share prices decline since reports of their plans first surfaced.

Twitter has considered other solutions, such as divestitures of assets not central to its business, people familiar with the matter have said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net, Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net, Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net.