Now that Facebook has taken the plunge and filed their S-1 documents, much of the attention has been redirected to Twitter. It’s not like discussion about a possible Twitter IPO is anything new, it just seems to have intensified since the Facebook IPO filing.
Apparently, all of that buzz is for naught – at least if you ask Twitter’s CEO.
In emails obtained by CNN, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had this to say about a possible IPO:
We don’t want to be public until we have very predictable quarterly earnings growth. We’re not ready to be a public company for a couple years.
This email correspondence comes in the form of a message to all Twitter staff regarding a limit imposed on the sharing of company shares. Apparently, a rule has existed for about a year that says nobody that holds Twitter stock can sell more than 20% of their shares.
Costolo wrote that Twitter has to “artificially limit the supply of stock being sold,” Costolo said, “There is one reasonable way to do this: Let everybody with vested common stock sell only some fraction of their shares.”
Twitter can avoid disclosing their financials if they keep it under 500 shareholders owning one class of equity shares. Once they hit that threshold, they don’t necessarily have to go public – but the majority do.
Now, it’s important to note that said email correspondence is from August 2011. Things can change in a matter of months. But Costolo’s private comments here seem to mirror his public comments about an IPO made only a few weeks ago at the All Things D “Dive Into Media” conference. There, Costolo refused to directly address the issue of a future IPO, but did say that Twitter’s “going to be really patient about the way [they] build the business,” adding that they “are trying to build a decades-long, lasting business.”