Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
After receiving interest in discussing a deal, Twitter has started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Salesforce.com Inc. is also considering a bid and is working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.
Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Speculation that Twitter will be sold has been gathering steam in recent months, including last week’s news of Salesforce’s interest, given the social-media company’s slumping stock and difficulties in attracting new users and advertising revenue. Disney, the owner of ABC and ESPN, could obtain a new online outlet for entertainment, sports and news. Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, is on the board of Disney.
Twitter rose as much as 2.1 percent to $23.09 after being down earlier. The stock soared 21 percent on Sept. 23 following reports of the talks with Salesforce. Disney fell, dropping as much as 2 percent to $91.40.
“It’s a video distribution play,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. “What Disney has to think about is what is its place in a post cord-cutting world. They are investing in technology for distribution — and this would give them the platform to reach audiences around the world.”
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has a reputation as a strategic thinker with an appetite for bold bets, such as the $7.4 billion acquisition of animation studio Pixar in 2006, just months after he became CEO.
With Disney’s largest business — cable TV — losing viewers and facing more competition from online video services, Iger has invested in technology-related media businesses, including the Hulu video streaming service, digital media company Vice and Major League Baseball’s BAMTech, which provides the platform for online video services such as HBO Now. Twitter has also partnered with with BAMTech for its live streaming.