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Twitter's Biz Stone denies IPO rumors

Co-founder Biz Stone says Twitter has no plans to go public or seek more private investment anytime soon.

March 04, 2011|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said Thursday that the popular social media website had no plans to go public or secure major private investments any time soon, deflecting rumors to the contrary yet again.

Stone made his comments to Reuters at the World Economy and Future Forum in Seoul.

"We have so many other things before we even think about" issuing shares on publicly traded stock markets, Stone told Reuters. "We are not even discussing it internally. It's too far off."

On top of that, he said Twitter wasn't planning any new investment rounds in the next 12 months either.

"We make money," Stone said. "We earn money from a suite of products — we have promoted tweets … promoted accounts, all of which are in our advertising mechanism."

This week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. was rumored to be in talks to buy a minority stake in Twitter. JPMorgan recently disclosed in a regulatory filing the formation of a $1.2-billion "digital growth fund."

Stone said the rumors about the JPMorgan-Twitter talks were false.

In recent weeks, rumors have also been circulating that Google and Facebook were interested in buying Twitter for about $10 billion, something Stone and Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo both have denied.

Andreessen Horowitz, a Menlo Park, Calif., investment firm started by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, invested $80 million in Twitter in February by buying shares directly from existing investors. That purchase pegged Twitter's worth at about $3.7 billion.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com.

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