Digital payments giant PayPal issued a terse statement Sunday denying media reports that it was in talks to purchase social media site Pinterest.
"In response to market rumors regarding a potential acquisition of Pinterest by PayPal, PayPal stated that it is not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest at this time," the San Jose, California-based company said in a post on its web site.
The company statement followed a swirl of news reports last week that a deal was in the offing. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that PayPal was considering paying $70 a share for San Francisco-based Pinterest, citing unnamed sources, in a deal that would have been worth $45 billion.
The talks, which were also reported by the Wall Street Journal, would have created a potential e-commerce juggernaut with Pinterest increasingly connecting its millions of users to shopping options.
The short PayPal statement left open the possibility that talks had taken place at some point, and were called off. Pinterest’s shares surged Wednesday on the news reports, leading to a trading halt for that stock, but PayPal’s stock slumped that day.
At the time, a spokesperson for PayPal didn't respond to a request for comment and a spokesperson for Pinterest declined comment.
Pinterest would have been PayPal’s biggest ever acquisition, the Wall Street Journal said, noting that to date the payment company’s largest purchase was of Honey Science in 2019 for about $4 billion. With some $19 billion in available cash and cash equivalents, the Pinterest price tag wouldn’t have been an obstacle for PayPal, the paper said.