Google is working with a financial adviser to consider a potential bid for Twitter Inc., as the social-media company continues to explore a sale, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.
In tapping Lazard Ltd., Google hasn’t indicated it will definitely make an offer for Twitter. But the move suggests that Google is evaluating the option, pitting the search giant against other potential bidders including Walt Disney Co. and Salesforce.com Inc.
Gina Scigliano, a Google spokeswoman, declined to comment. A Lazard spokeswoman couldn’t be reached for comment.
Twitter hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to solicit potential buyers after receiving interest from Salesforce, people familiar with the situation have said. The company, which has seen user growth stagnate for more than a year, has been trying to reshape its identify by focusing on video and live events.
Google, the largest subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has long been viewed as a natural suitor for the struggling social-media firm known for its 140-character Tweets. The companies have cut deals around advertising and mobile publishing products. Twitter recently agreed to integrate its content inside Google search results, after an earlier collaboration fell apart. Google’s previous social effort, centered on its Google Plus product, flopped, leaving the company without a viable service to rival its primary ads competitor Facebook Inc.
Google’s recent focus, under Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, has been on artificial intelligence and cloud storage, not social networks.
Lazard served as the financial adviser for Google’s $625 million takeover of software developer Apigee in September. The deal is expected to close by year’s end.