🅿️ Is Pinterest Keen To Be Acquired By PayPal?
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🅿️ Pinterest: Pining To Be Pals With PayPal?
The largest tech deal of 2021 seems to be in the offing. PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) is in advanced talks to acquire social media giant Pinterest Inc. (PINS) for $45B. This would be PayPal's biggest acquisition by a distance. Shareholders of both companies, though, had contrasting reactions. (Tweet This)
The "Tote"m Pole Of Pins
Pinterest emerged from an earlier app called "Tote," created by its founders Ben Silberman and Paul Sciarra. Tote replaced paper catalogs with digital ones back in 2009. However, the company struggled because mobile payments technology back then was not what it is today.
Be that as it may, users were amassing large collections of favourite items and sharing them with other users. That trend led to the creation of Pinterest in December 2009. By 2011, Pinterest was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the "50 Best Websites of 2011."
It ranked among the top 10 social network services in the same year, with total visits per week touching 11M. The company makes its money via advertising, specifically, promoted pins and also emphasizes visual search and e-commerce.
The company went public in April 2019 with shares priced at $19 apiece, valuing the company at $10B. Earlier this year, Microsoft tried buying the company out for $51B. Pinterest spurned any such advances, preferring to remain an independent entity, and the talks fell through.
On the other hand, PayPal has been working to capitalize on the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) trend. It had Japanese unicorn Paidy in a $2.7B deal last month. Still, the company has been under pressure from companies such as Shopify, which have invested heavily in blending e-commerce with fintech.
$6B Poorer In 8 Months!
The price per share of Pinterest seems to be around the $70 mark, valuing the company at $45B - a 26% premium to the closing price on Tuesday. The deal will be PayPal's largest-ever acquisition, more than 10x the $4B purchase of Honey Science Corp. last year.
Things haven't been rosy for Pinterest lately. Last week, it announced that co-founder Evan Sharp, credited with designing and building the original Pinterest product, will be stepping down. Sharp will join LoveFrom, the design firm founded by former Apple executive Jony Ive. Sharp has close to 6% of Pinterest's voting control.
The company has also faced serious questions regarding discrimination against female workers. Former COO Francoise Brougher was fired over a video call in April last year. Brougher had accused the company of marginalizing and silencing women and excluding them from decision-making.
Brougher filed a lawsuit against Pinterest, and the company paid $20M to settle the claims without admitting any wrongdoing. Brougher accepted the payout on the condition that the settlement is made public.
Pinterest was also sued by one of its investors, The Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island, for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, and discriminating against employees based on their race and gender.
All said and done, Pinterest shareholders were on cloud nine over the proposed deal and sent the shares up 12% on Tuesday. PayPal's shareholders, on the other hand, were left scratching their heads over the proposal.
PayPal intends to dominate shopping and finance, similar to how Alipay and WeChat have taken over daily life in China. While the ambition is good, there are concerns about whether the company is a bit too callous (read more generous than needed) when making acquisitions.
Pinterest shareholders may be on pins and needles waiting to see this deal go through and are pinning their hopes on a potential agreement. Something that had eluded the company when Microsoft came calling in Feb 2021!
PINS ended at $61.35, down 2.12%. Shares are down 10% this year.
Company Snapshot 📈
PINS $61.35 -1.33 (2.12%)
Analyst Ratings (30 Analysts) BUY 43% HOLD 53% SELL 4%
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