According to various reports published today, PayPal Holdings Inc. is in talks to buy visual bookmarking company Pinterest Inc. According to CNBC, the two corporations are currently in late-stage talks, citing a source familiar with the situation. PayPal is reportedly contemplating a partnership with Pinterest, according to Bloomberg, which broke the story first.
The two businesses are said to have negotiated a purchase price of roughly $70 per share, which would put Pinterest’s value at $45 billion. Pinterest’s stock has been trading in a range of $50 to $55 per share over the previous month, indicating that the prospective acquisition would be at a premium. However, it’s still less than the stock’s 12-month high of $89.90 per share in February. PayPal and Pinterest jobs have both declined to comment on the allegations.
Pinterest, which was founded in 2009, is a visual bookmarking application similar to an online scrapbook for preserving and discovering creative ideas. Individually or in groups, users can save images, links, and media. Women use the service in large numbers, with 71% of users being female as of July and 4% being undefined. Pinterest went public in April 2019, debuting at $19 per share before closing its first day of trading at $23.75 a share.
Despite the fact that Pinterest’s stock price has risen dramatically since then, the company has not been without problems. Former employees have accused Pinterest of discriminating against female employees after co-founder Evan Sharp announced his departure last week. In December, Pinterest agreed to a $22.5 million settlement after former Chief Operating Officer Francoise Brougher filed a discrimination claim.
Pinterest makes money from sponsored pins, which are adverts that seem like user-generated pins. The question of why PayPal would want to buy a visual bookmarking application that makes money from advertising is a good one. It’s possible that the company is aiming to diversify its portfolio, and taking up Pinterest would be its first foray into advertising.
Pinterest may also represent an e-commerce opportunity. Investopedia noted in 2019 that “opportunities for increasing revenue that Pinterest plans to pursue include greater international expansion, focusing on video and increasing ad capabilities, as well as pursuing its own e-commerce efforts.” Those e-commerce opportunities are still available and that’s vertical in which PayPal has ample experience.
If the deal goes through, it will be PayPal’s largest acquisition ever, surpassing the $4 billion paid for Honey Science Corp. in November 2019. However, there is no assurance that the acquisition will be completed, and PayPal is not the first huge corporation to discuss acquiring Pinterest. According to a February report, Microsoft Corp. had previously held acquisition talks with Pinterest.