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The social media platform's decision to ask its staff to avoid the office follows similar requests by governments in virus hotspots/FILE

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Twitter shares rocket on report of possible sale

Twitter shares soared more than 16 percent after CNBC reported that the microblogging service is in talks with potential acquirers including Google and Salesforce.com/AFP-File

Twitter shares soared more than 16 percent after CNBC reported that the microblogging service is in talks with potential acquirers including Google and Salesforce.com/AFP-File

NEW YORK, United States, Sept 23 – Twitter shares soared more than 16 percent Friday after CNBC reported that the company was moving close to a sale, with Alphabet/Google and Salesforce possible buyers.

Talk has been circulating for weeks that the popular messaging platform was opening its doors to potential buyers.

CNBC cited unnamed sources in the report, adding that it is still early in the process.

“Twitter’s board of directors is said to be largely desirous of a deal, according to people close to the situation, but no sale is imminent,” CNBC said.

Five minutes into trading early Friday, Twitter shares were up 16.4 percent at $21.68, less than one-third of their peak in December 2013 and well below the November 2013 IPO price of $26 a share.

After a very fast startup Twitter has struggled to further build its user base hovering just above 300 million active users since the beginning of 2015 to keep pace with other faster-growing social networking smartphone apps.

In early September reports swirled that Twitter’s board was weighing ways to cut costs, ramp up revenue or possibly maximize shareholder value by selling itself.

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