Twitter's stock is up on Softbank M&A chatter, but there's no real evidence of a deal

Jack Dorsey Sun ValleyGetty / Drew AngererTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Here we go again.

Twitter’s stock finished Friday’s regular trading session up 7% as a new round of acquisition rumours sparked investor hopes that the struggling social network will be sold.

Japan’s Softbank is the latest putative bidder for Twitter. But the source of the M&A speculation can best be described as extremely thin.

Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog mentions the rumour, which it traces back to Flyonthewall. But Barron’s notes that the Flyonthewall post cites chatter among “traders,” without actually specifying any sources.

In other words, this could be nothing but pure speculation at this point. And Flyonthewall points out that it is not giving any credence to the rumour, but only noting that it has affected Twitter’s stock.

Wall Street is clearly eager for a Twitter acquisition, particularly after the last round of supposed bidders, including Disney, Google and Salesforce, all vanished.

“We had to walk away”

On Friday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC that he abandoned a potential deal with Twitter after his shareholders revolted.

“Our stockholders heard that we were involved in a process and they made it clear that they did not want us to buy that company,” Benioff told CNBC. “Very specifically, we had to walk away. I love the CEO and the company and I love everything about the the brand, but our stockholders don’t and I listen to them.”

Softbank would seem an equally curious owner of Twitter, although the Japanese tech conglomerate is not afraid to make big deals, most recently its planned $32 billion acquisition of chip company ARM.

Softbank shares on the Tokyo stock exchange fell 1.4%, whereas Twitter’s Nasdaq listed shares finished Friday’s regular session up 7% at $18.09.

Softbank and Twitter did not return calls for comment.

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