In brief: Payments processing specialist PayPal has reportedly offered to purchase digital pinboard company Pinterest. Sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times that the deal on the table is worth roughly $45 billion, with PayPal willing to pay around $70 per share. That would represent a healthy 25 percent increase over Pinterest's opening price of around $56 on Wednesday.
Speaking of share value, Pinterest is currently trading up nearly 14 percent on the day at $63.37 as of this writing.
The NY Times said a spokesperson for Pinterest declined to comment, and that PayPal had not responded to a request for comment by their publication deadline.
Should the deal pan out, it would be one of the largest Internet-related acquisitions in recent memory and one of PayPal's largest purchases.
Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, and launched into beta in March 2010. As I've noted previously, the online pinboard has taken a methodical and reserved approach to growth over the years. This path has often frustrated employees and investors, but the last time I checked, slow and steady wins the race. The approach has thus far been a success, and has helped steer Pinterest away from the sort of toxicity that is actively plaguing other social networks.
Earlier this year, rumors surfaced indicating Microsoft had approached Pinterest about a buyout, but we never heard any more regarding a potential deal. Perhaps those talks stalled, paving the way for PayPal to make a move?
A Microsoft acquisition certainly would have been interesting considering the other companies Redmond has added to its portfolio as of late including LinkedIn, GitHub, ZeniMax and Mojang. It's also entirely possible that yet another high-profile acquisition could have attracted unwanted attention from regulators, prompting Microsoft to reconsider.
Image credit Brett Jordan