A POTENTIAL takeover of Twitter could trigger a mammoth $1.7bn (£1.3bn) payday for the top 12 executives and directors at the struggling social media giant, according to reports.
Twitter is reportedly in early stage talks with companies including Google and may receive a formal bid soon. A source told Reuters that Salesforce.com is also in pursuit.
Twitter shares jumped more than 19 per cent to $22.22 per share on Friday, marking the largest one-day rise since their first day of trading in 2013. The company now has a market value of around $16bn.
The top dozen directors and executives share a pot of 76m shares that would be valued at $1.7bn under Friday’s valuation.
Twitter is working with investment banks Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co in considering possible transactions.
A sale of Twitter has been the subject of on-again, off-again rumours for many months as it grapples with stagnant user growth, soft advertising sales and losses running at hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said Alphabet would be the best acquirer for Twitter since it has not yet been able to crack social media on its own.
The most unexpected development on Friday was Salesforce.com’s apparent interest in acquiring Twitter. Salesforce serves business customers with cloud-based computing services and has virtually no presence in consumer media.
Twitter missed Wall Street’s sales expectations in both the first and second quarters of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, and has yet to produce a net profit in 11 quarters as a public company. It has also failed to keep pace with rivals, notably Facebook’s Instagram and Snapchat.