Twitter Stock Drops as Salesforce Ends Bid

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Friday that the deal "wasn't the right fit for us."

Twitter stock was trading down more than 6 percent midday Friday, as it appears increasingly unlikely that it will find an acquirer.

In a new report from the Financial Times, Salesforce — one of the last remaining companies that had expressed interest in buying Twitter — ended speculation about whether it would make a bid. "In this case we've walked away," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told FT. "It wasn't the right fit for us."

Twitter began seriously exploring a sale in September, and several potential bidders emerged, including Salesforce, Google, Verizon and Disney. In early October, Recode reported that Google and Disney would not make bids for the company, leaving Salesforce as the most likely acquirer.

But Salesforce's stock was hit by its Twitter talks, and The New York Times reported last week that investor pressure was mounting against a deal for the flagging social media network, which has been struggling with slow user growth and an online harassment problem.

Benioff told FT that his decision not to bid for Twitter was "for many different reasons" that included looking at the price — Twitter's market cap is currently at nearly $12 billion, but during the height of sales reports it was around $20 billion — as well as culture.

A Twitter spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the company's path forward. FT reported that Twitter's advisers still are looking for other potential bidders.

Twitter's stock closed Thursday down more than 1 percent to $17.79.