Earlier this month, JPMorgan Chase raised $1.2 billion to establish a digital growth fund, and it looks the organization is wasting no time in putting that money to use. Reports now claim that JPMorgan intends to acquire a 10 percent stake in Twitter (assuming it hasn't done so already).
Here's the it-hasn't-happened-yet scenario, which surfaced first: David Gelles wrote late yesterday, "The fund hopes to acquire 10 per cent of the online messaging service for $450m, valuing Twitter at $4.5bn, according to people familiar with the plans. . . . It is not clear if the JPMorgan fund will make a direct investment or buy out existing investors and shareholders with Twitter's approval."
Michael Arrington, on the other hand, claimed the whole thing's already in the past. He wrote, "J.P. Morgan isn't currently trying to buy Twitter shares . . . . That's because they already indirectly own 10% of Twitter. . . . Over the last several months, that fund has acquired around $400 million in Twitter stock from current shareholders, at prices ranging from $16 - $21/share. At $21/share, that implies a Twitter valuation of $4.5 billion."
Either way, the move's significant. It indicates that JPMorgan, which still commands a fair amount of respect, has made Twitter a top priority (since the digital growth fund seems to have made Twitter its first target).
It also hints that Twitter's value in investors' eyes continues to grow, since the last time we wrote about the figure, it was only $4 billion.
Anyway, we'll be sure to provide an update if either scenario's confirmed.