Is buoyant Twitter about to float?

Six year old social media phenomenon Twitter has hired Morgan Stanley's Cynthia Gaylor, suggesting that an IPO could be coming up fast.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 13 Nov 2014
Gaylor is the M&A brains who worked on deals for Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga, so the news (released by Tweet, natch) that she is now on board at Twitter has produced a wave of excited speculation in the markets that another big-ticket tech IPO could be on the cards this year. 
 
Many analysts reckon that an IPO is the natural next step for Twitter, and a recent investment by asset manager Black Rock at a hefty valuation of $9bn suggests that there might be plenty of appetite for its shares despite questions over the monetisation of its 200m odd active users.
 
The announcement will also come as a relief for Morgan Stanley, whose status as banker of choice for US tech floats had been called into question by some. For although the Facebook and LinkedIn deals it worked on were undoubtedly lucrative for the companies’ founders, things looked less rosy for the punters point of view. Morgan Stanley was fined $55m after the Facebook deal for exerting ‘improper influence’ on research analysts.
 
Of course it is perfectly possible that Gaylor could simply be going to work on acquisitions at Twitter, which has been in buying mode recently, picking up the likes of music discovery business We Are Hunted, Bluefin Labs and crash reporter Crashlytics. But she will certainly be handy to have around should anyone there decide that an IPO might be interesting to look at.
 
In other Twitter news, legendary value investor Warren Buffet has tweeted his first tweet under the handle @WarrenBuffet (pretty radical name huh?). Within ten minutes he had 10,000 followers and as of this morning that had risen to over 262,000. This despite the fact that the Sage of Omaha seems to be in send rather than receive mode at the moment - he hasn’t got round to following anyone else yet.
 
Someone should tweet him and ask what he thinks of Twitter’s IPO prospects. Although given his track record on high profile tech floats, we could have a pretty good guess at what his answer might be…

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