Twitter has been in talks with potential buyers, including Facebook and Google, who could take control of the micro-blogging site for as much as $10bn, according to a news report.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google and Facebook are in early-stage talks with Twitter over a possible buyout of the website, which sits in a number of venture capital portfolios.
Executives at the search and social networking giants have both met with Twitter for what the Journal called “low-level talks” on the possibility of an acquisition deal.
“The talks have so far gone nowhere, these people say,” added the Journal, citing people close to the situation.
Twitter has soared in popularity in recent years, and according to the Journal its valuation for potential suitors would be between $8bn and $10bn.
Twitter is expected to rake in $150m US in ad revenue in 2011, according to a study by digital research firm eMarketer released last month.
Last year ad spending on Twitter was an estimated $45m, and could reach as high as $250m by 2012.
Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo has previously said that Twitter, which has fended off several buyers, intends to remain an independent company and is not considering going public.
Existing Twitter backers include Insight Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Charles River Ventures, according to Reuters data.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield joined its $200m latest funding round in December. The financing valued the 140-character messaging service at $3.7bn.
Twitter, created in 2006, is another venture-backed runaway success. It counts 175 million registered users who post some 95 million tweets a day.
The company only started monetising its service in 2010, when it started offering marketers a way of advertising on the site. Although the company doesn’t disclose its financial information, research firm eMarketer estimated that Twitter generated revenues of $45m last year and is expected to earn $150m this year.
The IPO window remains shut for tech businesses, but a secondary market for trading shares in private start-ups has emerged recently.
Last month, Facebook raised $1.5bn, putting a lofty $50bn price tag on the social networking giant.
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