Twitter may soon get formal bid, suitors said to include Salesforce and Google

Twitter shares surged Friday after sources told CNBC that the ailing social media company moved closer to being sold.

The sources said the company has received expressions of interest from several technology or media companies and may receive a formal bid shortly.

The potential suitors include Google and Salesforce.com, among other technology companies, sources said.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter

Shares of Twitter rose more than 21 percent Friday. While it is difficult to determine the value of such a distant potential deal, sources have told CNBC it could sell for around $26 per share, about $3.50 higher than Friday's close. Other reports put a total bid in range from $18 billion to $30 billion total, as reported by Recode.

Twitter's board of directors is said to be largely desirous of a deal, according to people close to the situation, but no sale is imminent. There's no assurance a deal will materialize, but one source close to the conversations said that they are picking up momentum and could result in a deal before year-end.

Suitors are said to be interested as much in the data that Twitter generates as its place as a media company. Salesforce declined to comment to CNBC and other companies did not immediately provide a comment.

But Salesforce.com's chief digital evangelist, Vala Afshar, tweeted his personal views about Twitter after the report.


It comes after a Wall Street Journal report earlier this year indicated that Salesforce would have bid for fellow social network LinkedIn, which later reached a deal with Microsoft.

Salesforce's stock was down 5.6 percent on Friday. Google's share price was flat.

Before the report about the talks surfaced, RBC tech analyst Mark Mahaney downgraded Twitter to underperform from market perform on Friday, predicting a 25 percent drop in the stock because of weak ad revenue. In its most recent quarterly report, it posted its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013 and issued a lackluster outlook.

— Reporting by David Faber. CNBC's Peter Schacknow and Reuters contributed to this report.