As Twitter slowly prepares for a public offering, BlackRock, the money-management firm, is taking a small stake in the company by buying shares from early employees.The Financial Times reports that BlackRock is spending $80 million for a little under 1 per cent of the company, valuing the whole at $9 billion.
That’s a lower price than investors paid in deals last year that valued Twitter at $11 billion, but those involved smaller blocks of shares. Private-market transactions also tend to be volatile, given the lack of liquidity.
Twitter recently promoted its CFO, Ali Rowghani, to COO, and hired Zynga executive Mike Gupta to fill the CFO role. Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo have described the company as preparing itself to go public, but deliberately and at a time of their choosing.
Costolo has also said that Twitter has a “truckload” of money still in the bank. So until a public offering happens, purchases from employees are likely to be the main source of shares for investors who want a stake in the company.