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WHEN: Today, Monday, September 26th
WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's David Faber on "Closing Bell" (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET) today, Monday, September 26th. Following is a link to a story on CNBC.com with the news: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/26/microsoft-seen-as-possible-twitter-bidder-source.html as well as video of the news: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000554199.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
DAVID FABER: JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE ON WHAT WE REPORTED ON FRIDAY. TWITTER IS MOVING CLOSER TO A FORMAL SALE PROCESS FOR THE COMPANY ACCORDING TO SOURCES FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION. THAT DOES NOT YET MEAN THAT IT IS IN THAT FORMAL PROCESS BUT AS WE REPORTED ON FRIDAY THERE HAD BEEN EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST RECEIVED MOST AGGRESSIVELY FROM SALES FORCE BUT FROM GOOGLE. SINCE THEN AND BEFORE THEN OTHERS, AS WELL, INCLUDING DISNEY AND NOW SOURCES TELL ME ALSO INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITY THAT MICROSOFT MAY TAKE A LOOK, ALL OF WHICH ADDS UP IF YOU ARE TWITTER AND ITS ADVISERS TO FORMALIZING A PROCESS BY WHICH YOU WILL TRY TO SELL THE COMPANY. WHILE PEOPLE TELL ME THEY ARE NOT QUITE THERE YET THEY ARE GETTING QUITE CLOSE TO THAT. WELL WHAT DOES THAT MEAN WELL THE FORMAL PROCESS BY WHICH YOU SET BIDDING DEADLINES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE. OTHERS COULD BE AND COULD JOIN THE POTENTIAL FRAY. THIS IS STILL SORT OF EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST, CONVERSATIONS, ENGAGEMENT BUT NO BID YET RECEIVED. THAT MAY COME SOON. PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION TELLING ME THE TIMELINE BY WHICH YOU WOULD TRY TO SELL THE COMPANY HAS NARROWED. ON FRIDAY I WAS SAYING THAT IT POTENTIALLY COULD TAKE PLACE PRIOR TO THE END OF THE YEAR. NOW I'M HEARING THE NEXT 30 TO 45 DAYS. THAT IS NOT UNLIKELY, OF COURSE, IN THE SITUATION LIKE THIS WHERE HAVING BEEN MADE PUBLIC THESE NEGOTIATIONS TYPICALLY YOU WANT TO TRY TO CONFINE TO AS SHORT A TIME PERIOD AS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN POTENTIALLY ADD MICROSOFT TO A LIST OF POTENTIAL BIDDERS THAT INCLUDES THE LIKES OF SALES FORCE GOOGLE AND MAYBE DISNEY. YOU CAN TIGHTEN THAT TIMELINE IN TERMS OF WHEN WE MAY KNOW ONE WAY OR THE OTHER WHETHER THIS COMPANY WILL BE SOLD.
GRIFFETH: BEFORE YOU GO, THERE WERE REPORTS THAT MAYBE VERIZON MIGHT JUMP THERE BECAUSE OF POTENTIAL DISILLUSIONMENT WITH YAHOO OVER THE SECURITY ISSUES THERE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT ONE?
FABER: BILL, NOT CLEAR THAT THERE IS ANY REAL DANGER YET FOR THAT YAHOO DEAL WITH VERIZON. THERE CERTAINLY HAS BEEN SPECULATION THAT VERIZON MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN COBBLING TWITTER ON TO AOL AND YAHOO SHOULD THEY FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THAT AQUISITION. TIM ARMSTRONG, THE MAN LEADING THE EFFORT WAS ON THIS MORNING AND HAD NO COMMENT ON WHETHER THEY WERE INTERESTED IN TWITTER. IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS WHERE YOU DO HAVE THOSE POTENTIAL BIDDERS AND YOU DO HAVE WHAT MAY SOON BECOME A FORMAL SALE PROCESS THEY ARE CERTAINLY ASKED IF THEY ARE INTERESTED. IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER THEY WOULD BE. IT NEVER HURTS TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE VERY LEAST.
EVANS: I JUST GOT TO SAY REAL QUICKLY, WE GOT TO GO, BUT IT IS TRADING NOW HIGHER ON THE REPORT OF EVERY BID. HOW HIGH ARE WE TALKING IN TERMS OF A NUMBER FOR TWITTER? IT IS ALREADY AT 23, I THINK.
FABER: IT IS A GREAT QUESTION. I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER. WE HAVE HAD PLENTY OF ANALYSTS COME OUT WITH FUNDAMENTAL ANALYSIS IN THE LAST FEW DAYS SAYING WE DON'T SEE HOW THEY GET TO THIS NUMBER. BUT AT THE SAME TIME IF YOU DOHAVE AN AGGRESSIVE BIDDING PROCESS BY WHICH THERE ARE A NUMBER OF POTENTIAL COMPANIES THAT WANT TO OWN IT YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN ARGUMENTS. BUT YOU ARE RIGHT ON ANY VALUATION METRIC PARTICULARLY FOR A MEDIA COMPANY LIKE DISNEY WHICH IS BOUNDED BY THE FOUR WALLS OF EPS AND EBITDA IT DOES APPEAR TO GET TOUGH TO JUSTIFY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WITH THE NUMBERS FAR ABOVE HERE.
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