FT Thursday 31st July 2014

Alibaba talks set to value Snapchat at $10bn

 

Chinese giant Alibaba has reportedly been in talks with Snapchat about a possible share purchase that could see the valuation of the California based company shoot to $10bn. Industry insiders doubt whether with Alibaba about to go through its own IPO the deal will take place. Yet the fact that talks were held and the figures suggested represents a continuation of a trend that has seen a series of tech company’s valuations hit astronomical levels. Snapchat is extremely popular among young people, and its main function is sending images to friends that are destroyed after a set period of time. Snapchat was the subject of a rejected $3bn approach from Facebook just over a year ago. That decision by a company that has yet to make any money nor released any strategy of how it might generate revenue in the future looked foolish to some at the time, but now appears to be vindicated. Hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds are all looking to take a piece of the private tech companies at present, driving valuations upwards. In the past year, AirBnb and Dropbox have both received $10bn valuations, whereas the private taxi firm Uber took an investment round that valued the company at $17bn.

 

 Glazers to sell 8million Manchester United shares

 

The Glazer family is set to list an extra 8 million shares on the NYSE in a move that could at today’s share price net the owning family £90million. Manchester United is not going to benefit from the move. The Glazer family has currently sold around 10% of their shares, and the further release will take their holding down to around 84%. Shares in Manchester United have risen in recent months despite the team’s dreadful performance on the field thanks largely to a £750million sponsorship deal with kit manufacturer Adidas. The increase in shares available should improve liquidity in the market, which the Glazer family believes will further push the share price and valuation of the club upwards.


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