Over the weekend, the financial press got very excited about the news that JP Morgan is looking to invest in Silicon Valley darling Twitter. Turns out there seems to be little agreement on what, exactly, may or may not be going on between the massive bank and the social messaging service. The story was first reported on Saturday by the Financial Times, who indicated that JP Morgan Chase has raised a Digital Growth Fund of $1.2 billion specifically to buy a 10 percent stake in Twitter for $450 million.
Building on the Financial Times report, the Wall Street Journal fleshed out the story later in the day, noting that "the J.P. Morgan fund could also be interested in online gaming firm Zynga Inc., which is in discussions to raise nearly $500 million from institutional investors, one of the people familiar with the matter said." The New York Times Dealbook published a similar report, noting as the others did that it isn't clear if JP Morgan will be making a direct investment in Twitter or if they are buying "current investors’ stakes with the company’s consent."
What is clear is that oneTechcrunch editor, Michael Arrington, is not buying those reports. Last night he wrote that his sources are telling him that all the above reports are "wrong" and that JP Morgan already indirectly owns that 10 percent of Twitter. JP Morgan, he says, has "committed the bulk of capital in a secretive new $1+ billion fund by angel investor Chris Sacca. Over the last several months, that fund has acquired around $400 million in Twitter stock from current shareholders." And that fund, Arrington says, is the "second largest shareholder of Twitter."
Fortune's Dan Primack seconded with Arrington's assessment and notes that his sources have said that the Techcrunch founder is "is on the money." He explains that Sacca raised "around $1 billion for a Twitter-specific secondary fund" that includes much of the funds from JPM's $1.2 billion Digital Growth Fund for investing in social media.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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