According to the Financial Times, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said simply: “In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us.”
The move makes Twitter’s chances of a buyout look very dim:
Salesforce had been the only serious contender left in the race after Twitter opened itself to takeover offers, two people briefed on the sale process said. However, Twitter’s advisers are still seeking other potential bidders, those people added. The sale process is virtually dead, said a person close to Twitter’s senior management.
Benioff also mentioned several factors for the move:
“It’s not the right fit for us for many different reasons,” Mr Benioff said in the interview. Asked if price was the deciding factor, he added: “You’re going to look at price, you’re going to look at culture, you’re going to look at everything.”
The CRM giant had continued to pursue a Twitter deal up to this week, but now joins a slew of other major companies to bow out of negotiations with Twitter recently, including Microsoft, Google, Verizon, Disney, and others.
Twitter management is reportedly still seeking a buyer. Earlier today, rumors surfaced of Japan’s SoftBank perhaps taking a run at Twitter, and there are plenty of other fish in the sea.
The question is, do any of them want to buy Twitter?
Twitter shares were last trading at $16.76, down $1.03 (-5.79%) on the day. TWTR had been down as much as 7% immediately after the Salesforce news broke. Year-to-date, TWTR has now lost 28%.
Salesforce investors were much kinder than Twitter’s, sending CRM shares up $4.31 (+6.10%) to $74.94 in Friday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, CRM has still fallen 4.45%.