Oracle Corporation ORCL has expressed interest to acquire the business of China-based ByteDance's social media platform TikTok in the United States and other major markets including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to a Financial Times report Monday.
What Happened: The report claims Oracle’s co-founder Larry Ellison held preliminary talks with the TikTok parent and also approached investors, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, that own a stake in ByteDance.
While TikTok’s exact valuation is unknown, ByteDance is valued at over $100 billion, according to CB Insights. Several reports suggest that TikTok’s U.S. business might be valued at anywhere between $15 billion and $50 billion.
Why It Matters: There are other tech players, including Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Twitter Inc. TWTR, that are looking to acquire TikTok’s operations.
Microsoft might acquire all of TikTok’s businesses including India and Europe, according to FT. However, TikTok reportedly remains hesitant to sell-off other international business operations.
Micro-blogging giant Twitter is also said to be eying the acquisition, although there are concerns over its relatively smaller size. Twitter has a market cap of $30 billion, and might have to raise significant debt, or rely on its high-profile investors such as Silver Lake to aid the acquisition.
Last month, President Donald Trump said there are privacy concerns surrounding TikTok and that the application is under scrutiny. Shortly after Microsoft revealed its plans to acquire TikTok, Trump signed an executive order to ban all U.S. entities from making financial transactions with the app's parent ByteDance after 45 days from signing the order.
TikTok has over 500 million global users and this number stands at 80 million in the U.S.
Price Action: Oracle shares closed about 0.4% lower at $53.99 on Monday.
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