PayPal denies $45 billion Pinterest acquisition report, says it has “No Interest” in buying the digital pinboard platform
Last week, we wrote about PayPal after reports from Bloomberg and Reuters that the payments giant was planning to acquire Pinterest for $45 billion. Now, PayPal has denied the reports saying that the company is not looking to acquire Pinterest “at this time”
In a one-sentence statement released Monday, PayPal management stated that it “is not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest at this time.” Bloomberg was first to report on 20 October, having been told by people familiar with the matter that the two companies were involved in “late-stage talks”, with Pinterest reportedly being offered $70 per share, mostly in stock.
Some market analysts were “perplexed” about the deal saying that it seemingly had “no rationale.” Andrew Jeffrey, an analyst with Truist Securities said, ““We are perplexed by this potential transaction, and see little or no strategic rationale. We see such a move as an act of near desperation.”
Meanwhile, Pinterest’s stock jumped by about 12% on the news, trading at just above $62 by midday Wednesday. That’s still down from a 52-week-high of $89.90. Pinterest declined to comment on the report. PayPal had not responded to requests for comment as of press time. The sources told the media outlets that PayPal plans to finance the acquisition mostly through stock.
In the last 18 months, PayPal has become one of the biggest winners of the pandemic as more people used its services to shop online and pay bills to avoid stepping out. The pandemic boost over the past 12 months has driven up its shares by about 36%, giving it a market capitalization of nearly $320 billion.
PayPal’s shares were down about 3.5% on Wednesday, while Pinterest was up over 10% at $61.55. Pinterest’s shares, which had jumped over 13% earlier in the day forcing trading to be halted briefly, have shed about 16% of their value this year.
Meanwhile, PayPal has gone on a buying spree in recent months. In September, PayPal acquired Japanese buy now, pay later (BNPL) fintech startup Paidy in a $2.7 billion largely cash deal. In an investor presentation, PayPal said the acquisition of Paidy will enable the company to expand its footprint in Japan where online shopping volume has more than tripled over the last 10 years to some $200 billion, but more than two-thirds of all purchases are still paid for in cash.