Twitter Inc has told potential acquirers that it is seeking to conclude negotiations about selling itself by the time it reports third-quarter earnings on October 27, according to reports from Reuters.
Rumours emerged last month that Twitter was considering a sale and this is the clearest sign yet that chief executive Jack Dorsey is pushing to provide clarity to shareholders and employees over the company’s future as soon as possible.
According to Reuters’ sources close to Twitter, the company has already whittled down the field of potential acquirers. It is reported that Salesforce.com Inc, the Walt Disney Company and Google parent Alphabet Inc have all been contemplating bids.
However, Twitter shares plummeted 9 per cent when Recode reported that Google had declined to take its interest in twitter forward.
While the ambitious timescale for the sale might urge a potential buyer, Reuters’ souces cautioned that it is not certain that the process will result in a sale.
Twitter and Salesforce declined to comment. Disney and Google did not return requests for comment.
All of the parties have a reason to be interested in purchasing the social media empire. Salesforce.com might lean on Twitter to turn its focus to customer service communications and mining its database of tweets for business intelligence. Likewise Google would be interested in the platform’s social and news uses. Disney could use it as a means to expand its entertainment and sports programming.
The news comes at a time where Twitter has repeatedly struggled to generate revenue growth and profit, even though it has 313 million active monthly users. The company has failed to keep pace with rivals, notably Facebook-owned Instagram and Snapchat. Both now have more active users than Twitter and advertisers are migrating their advertisements to the younger platforms instead.
A deal with Disney might seem the most likely as Dorsey, who returned to Twitter as chief executive more than a year ago, has been part of the company’s board since 2013.
Twitter went public in November 2013 at $26 a share. The shares peaked above $74 just over a month after its IPO, but have been on a steady downward trajectory since.