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Twitter employee share sale values the blog giant at $9 billion

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 26, 2013 | 2 min read

After early employees sold $80 million in Twitter shares to a fund managed by BlackRock , a Bloomberg report has put the value of the whole company at $9 billion.

Twitter: $9 billion?

A Drum report earlier this month, quoting specialist financial researchers Greencrest Capital, put Twitter's worth at $11 billion (£6.8 billion).

The employee sales were overseen by Twitter Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Twitter is helping early shareholders realise part of the value of their holdings while letting select investors obtain equity in the fast-growing Internet company before it holds an IPO, said Bloomberg.

The deal with BlackRock, the largest money manager, marks an increase in the blog-site’s value since 2011, when an investment led by DST Global valued Twitter at $8 billion.

Rowghani, promoted from his job as finance chief last month, has taken an active role in lining up buyers for shares, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

In doing so, said the report, he may seek to limit pressure on Twitter’s valuation that could result if employees dump a large amount of stock after post-IPO “lockups” on their shares are lifted.

Twitter hasn’t disclosed plans for a public-market debut, but Rowghani’s promotion was a "possible precursor" to an eventual IPO filing, said Bloomberg.

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