Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff has said that the company does not intend to bid for Twitter, marking yet another potential high-profile buyer turning its back on the site.
Benioff told The Financial Times that Salesforce decided after much deliberation that it was not the right move for the company. “In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” he said.
The news sent Twitter shares down by as much as 5.2 per cent.
Benioff did not specify the reason, suggesting instead that several issues had led to its decision. “It’s not the right fit for us for many different reasons. You’re going to look at price, you’re going to look at culture, you’re going to look at everything,” he said.
Salesforce follows Google and Disney in walking away from Twitter, which at one point appeared to be in the middle of a potentially lucrative bidding war.
However, investors will now wonder whether any company will buy Twitter, which has struggled to grow or generate much revenue, especially when compared with rival Facebook, despite its sizeable and loyal user base.
One potential bidder could be Microsoft, especially given the firm's $26.2bn deal for LinkedIn earlier this year as it looks to add more social data to its systems.
However, Microsoft has not been linked with Twitter in any of the rumours regarding a potential sale, so any move would be surprising.
Apple too has no social media presence, but again is an unlikely buyer as it would appear to gain little from such a purchase.
Twitter's management may even try to entice bids from private equity firms, which might believe that the site has solid long-term potential but requires the right investment to get it back on track.
For now, though, it appears that Twitter will have to plan for the future in its current set-up.
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