Some hours ago, Twitter has now reached out to TikTok owner, ByteDance, in showing interest in buying the US operations of the video-sharing app, private sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
It, however, looks like a herculean task for Twitter in outbidding Microsoft, and concluding the mega-deal deal in 45 days, as directed by US President, Donald Trump.
Twitter has a market capitalization of around $30 billion, almost as much as the same valuation of TikTok’s US operation. What this means, therefore, is that Twitter will need to raise additional funds before the deal could see the light of day.
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“Twitter will have a hard time putting together enough financing to acquire even the U.S. operations of TikTok. It doesn’t have enough borrowing capacity,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan.
“If it (Twitter) tries to put together an investor group, the terms will be tough. Twitter’s own shareholders might prefer that management focus on its existing business,” he added.
However, one of Twitter’s major shareholders, private equity firm Silver Lake, is interested in supporting Twitter in part for the required funds needed to pull the deal through, one of the sources to Reuters added.
“Twitter has also privately made a case that its bid would face less regulatory scrutiny than Microsoft’s, and will not face any pressure from China given that it is not active in that country,” the sources said.
ByteDance, Twitter, and TikTok declined to comment.
TikTok has come under fire from US lawmakers over national security concerns surrounding data collection.
Microsoft’s offer to acquire TikTok’s U.S operation, following the recent escalation of President Trump’s attacks on TikTok and other Chinese tech firms.