Twitter reveals disclosure details

Oct 17, 2013
<p>Social media outfit chooses fitting channels for IR and disclosure ahead of its IPO</p>

Twitter has announced, unsurprisingly, that it has opened the possibility of communicating with investors over a few select Twitter accounts, as the social media giant discloses more information surrounding its keenly anticipated IPO.

As part of a securities filing made to the SEC earlier this week, Twitter lists three accounts as potential sources of market-moving information once the company’s IPO is complete. In order to meet an SEC guideline requiring firms to alert shareholders when news may be disclosed on social media, the filing reads: ‘We also intend to announce information regarding us and our business, operating results, financial condition and other matters through tweets on the following Twitter accounts: @dickc [CEO Dick Costolo], @twitter and @twitterIR.’

Though Twitter’s announcement runs the risk of becoming endlessly self-referential, it will not come as a surprise to most that the firm has taken to its own platform to talk to shareholders. A number of companies – including FedEx, Intel and Zillow – have used the micro-blogging site to make announcements, tweet information during earnings calls and address investors’ questions for some time.

The account has so far attracted 1,647 followers, but has itself subscribed to only a select few of Twitter’s management’s accounts, including Costolo, CFO Mike Gupta and COO Ali Rowghani.

The filing also reveals that the IPO will launch on the NYSE and provides more information about Twitter’s existing private shareholders.

The choice to list on the NYSE marks a slight departure: when Facebook chose to host its IPO on NASDAQ, the social network’s trading debut was marred by delays and glitches. Since Facebook’s IPO in May 2012, there have been 119 new companies primarily listed on the NYSE, with 121 opting for NASDAQ, according to data compiled by Dealogic.

The biggest equity holder in Twitter is currently private equity and investment firm Rizvi Traverse, which holds a 17.9 percent stake, according to the filing. Banking group JP Morgan follows closely with a 10.4 percent interest in the social media platform. Three tech-centric venture capital firms – Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital and Union Square Ventures – and Russian firm DST Global also each own at least 5 percent of Twitter’s equity.

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